Print this topic

HealthInfo Canterbury


Mātanga karu

Eye_Exam.jpgOptometrists check for problems with your eyes and prescribe remedies for eye diseases and conditions. If you're an adult, it's recommended that you regularly have a full eye examination by an optometrist.

Optometrists are part of a group of eye care practitioners that also include dispensing opticians and ophthalmologists.

Optometrists conduct eye exams, diagnose eye disease or other conditions, and prescribe glasses or other optical aids for eyesight problems. Dispensing opticians sell and fit glasses but can't perform eye health examinations or prescribe. Ophthalmologists are doctors who specialise in managing serious eye conditions and performing eye surgery.

Finding an optometrist

You can find optometrists online through:

Optometrist qualifications

An optometrist must:

The majority also have an additional Therapeutic Pharmaceutical Agents (TPA) endorsement allowing them to prescribe medications for eye problems. A small number are also able to manage and prescribe for glaucoma patients.

What optometrists do

Optometrists can help you by:

If you have poor vision, you should see an optometrist. But even if your vision isn't poor, it's a good idea to have an optometrist perform an eye exam to check for diseases or defects that may not have any symptoms, such as glaucoma or diabetes eye disease.

Optometrists mostly work in private practices. A small number are employed in hospital eye departments and private ophthalmology clinics.

Optometrist costs

Public funding is available if you:

Written by HealthInfo clinical advisers. Last reviewed March 2023.


Page reference: 268219

Review key: HIOPT-268219