In order to slow down the spread of coronavirus, you need to guard your eyes, as well as your hands and mouth, experts say. Thus, eye protection from COVID-19 is very important.
Optometry is a primary health care profession which dedicated to the improvement and preservation of the eyesight. Optometric practices include eye examination, dispensing of spectacles for the correction of the refractive error, prescribe contact lenses, as well as provide diagnosis and management of ocular disease.
Optometrist that served in this field of profession examines the eyes not only for vision problems, but also for the early detection of eye diseases and other abnormal systemic conditions. As such, the optometrist can provide his/her treatment plan well to the client so to manage the problems faced, whether to prescribe glasses, provide vision therapy or appropriate referral when necessary.
Differences between Optician, Optometrist and Ophthalmologist
An optometrist is an eye doctor that can examine, diagnose, and treat your eyes. An ophthalmologist is a medical doctor who can perform medical and surgical interventions for eye conditions. An optician is a professional who can help fit eyeglasses and dispense lenses.
Optometrist is a primary health care provider for routine eye care. They provide annual or routine eye examinations, including giving eye health education to their clients. They diagnose eye conditions, ocular disease and provide the right ocular management include prescription of glasses, contact lenses, vision therapy, other visual aids or referral to ophthalmologist if there is a necessary. Optometrist also plays an important role in post-surgical eye care.
Ophthalmologist is a medical doctor who specialise in surgical eye procedures. They perform eye surgeries for various eye disease and conditions such as cataract removal and strabismus surgery, perform laser eye surgery to treat myopia or hyperopia. They also prescribe medication drops to treat glaucoma. Unlike optometrist, they do not prescribe glasses or provide contact lens fitting services.
Optician is a profession that their job scope is dispensing lenses to fit into frame or making glasses. They will assists you in choosing the correct lens and frames that best suit you based on the size, shape, colour and style. Optician does not diagnose eye conditions or provide eye management such as vision therapy or eye health education.
According to World Health Organization (WHO), optometrists are defined as a healthcare profession that is autonomous, educated and regulated (licensed/registered). Optometrists are primary healthcare practitioners of the eye and visual system who provide comprehensive eye and vision care, which includes refraction and dispensing, detection/diagnosis and management of disease in the eye, and the rehabilitation of conditions of the visual system. In short, optometrists are working under essential services.
In the recent news, the government had revoked our permission to operate in our usual operating hours in phase three of Movement Control Order (MCO). In a letter from Association of Malaysian Optometrists (AMO) to Minister of International Trade and Industry (MITI), the Optometrists request to be classified under “Healthcare Providers” and allow Optometrists to practice under the strict guideline of National Security Council (NSC).
Optometrists and practice owners have received an overwhelming amount of pleads from their patients/customers with emergency issues such as, broken glasses, frame misalignment that leads to poor eye focus, change in refractive error (myopia, hyperopia, astigmatism and presbyopia), blurred vision for non spectacle wearers, etc. These conditions can cause major inconvenience such as headaches and migraine that can interrupt running our daily activities.
AMO also said that during MCO, everyone needs a good eyesight. For example, doctors need sharp vision to operate and treat patients. Delivery drivers need a clear vision to ensure their safety while driving. Students and office workers who study and work from home definitely need good vision to maintain productivity.
Today we received a message from a struggling mother, whose son had accidentally broken his glasses. Her child who is in distress and is crying in despair because he said he could not see properly with his broken glasses. Optometrists can help in all above situations. However, as the government does not realise the importance of Optometrists as a essential service provider, we are restricted to serve and fix the problems for customer. We can repair either broken or misaligned glasses and dispense a proper prescription. This is why we, as an optometrists should be considered working under essential services. We do not only sell glasses, we also care for your eyes.
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