Optometry Courses in India have evolved over a period of time to the extent that they have become sources of profitable employment. Optometry is a science which deals with the structure, function and working of the human eye. It is also known as Ophthalmic Optics. As a health care profession it is concerned with examination, diagnosis and treatment of eyes, specially related to visual, optical symptoms, refractive errors and their correction, using lenses and other optical aids. Optometrists or Optometric Physicians are primary eye care and health professionals concerned with vision care. They are involved with vision screening (eye testing), diagnosis of visual problems, orthoptics and vision training, optometric counselling of patients with partial sight, colour blindness and hereditary vision defects, and designing and fitting of spectacles, contact lens and low vision aids. They also prescribe Vision therapy eye exercises to patients complaining of Visual symptoms such as squint etc. Optometry and Ophthalmology are very closely related to each other as they both deal with Visual disorders. The only difference between them is that Optometry does not include surgery.
The study of this field includes all or few of these –
To provide unique contributions in the innovative research areas of eye care and vision science.
To provide indispensable eye care, especially to rural areas.
To work in cooperation with ophthalmologists to provide quality and affordable eye care.
Candidates who wish to do degree or diploma courses in Ophthalmic technology should have cleared 10+2 or equivalent examination, with a minimum of 50% marks in physics, chemistry and biology.
The age limit is 17 years as on 31st December.
Candidates satisfying the eligibility requirement for the B.Optom course have to appear for the EYECET examination. The EYECET exam is the centralised, combined, entrance test for entry into optometry courses, which is universally recognised all over the country.
B. Optom. Course is of 4 year duration. The first 3 years teaching is followed by one year of internship for clinical and trade experience.
Direct Admission to B.Optom 3rd Year Course
For direct admission to third year B.Optom course, candidates who have completed their 10+2, must have a 2 year diploma course in Optometry, Ophthalmic Techniques, Refraction, Orthoptics and Ophthalmic Assistance with 40% marks from an Institute recognised by Indian Optometric Association and Bharati Vidyapeeth Deemed University.
Candidates with Secondary School Certificate (std. X) must have a 3 year diploma course in Ophthalmic Techniques and should have worked in an Ophthalmic clinic or Optical establishment for a minimum period of one year after completion of the course.
The candidates have to submit their work experience certificate from the Ophthalmic clinic or Optical establishment during the time of admission.
Age limit for direct admission to 3rd year B.Optom course is 19 years. In addition, they have to appear for the EYECET test.
Personal Attributes - A student of Optometry needs to have patience and manual. One should also possess a mechanical aptitude, good vision, coordination, self-discipline, a disposition to serve others. Work ethics characterized by dedication and persistence and the ability to deal tactfully with patients are other essential qualities to become a successful Optometrist.
Earlier optometrists were considered good for only prescribing glasses for the visually impaired. In modern times, jobs for Optometrist in India as a health profession have acquired a vital role in primary eye care. It has been possible because of the modern technological advances which have contributed to the expansion of the scope of practice of optometry. The ageing population suffers from various types of vision disorders like cataracts, glaucoma, macular degeneration etc. which need to be taken care of. In addition, an increased incidence of diabetes and hypertension in the general population has generated a great demand for optometric services. Most Optometrists run their own eye clinic, optical shop, lens manufacturing units etc. They can work with Optician showrooms, Eye doctors, Contact Lens and Ophthalmic lens industry, hospital Eye departments etc. Optometrists can also seek employment with any multinational organization dealing with eye care products as professional services executives or take up teaching as a career. They can pursue higher education or can go for further research in the field of Optometry. Optometrists could also take up the work of occupational health specialists in the vision care of industrial workers.
Remuneration - Optometry is one of the top ten income-earning professions of the country. An optometrists earning is determined by several factors including coverage under provincial medical programs, fee schedules, hours worked, practice location, services provided and patient population. The initial salary of an optometrist in a government firm is Rs. 8,000/- or above plus other allowance. Salaried optometrists tend to earn more initially than optometrists who set up their own practices. However, ultimately those in private practice once established usually earn more.