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What is an optometrist/ dispensing optician?

What is an optometrist?

An optometrist examines eyes, tests sight and prescribes spectacles or contact lenses for those who need them. They also fit spectacles or contact lenses, give advice on visual problems and detect any ocular disease or abnormality, referring the patient to a medical practitioner if necessary.

Optometrists may also share the care of patients who have chronic ophthalmic conditions with a medical practitioner. Once qualified, optometrists can undertake further training to specialise in certain eye treatment by therapeutic drugs.

What is a dispensing optician?

A dispensing optician advises on, fits and supplies the most appropriate spectacles after taking account of each patient’s visual, lifestyle and vocational needs.

Dispensing opticians also play an important role in advising and dispensing low vision aids to those who are partially sighted as well as advising on and dispensing to children where appropriate.

They are also able to fit and provide aftercare for contact lenses after undergoing further specialist training. On completion, practitioners are placed onto a specialty register. Career opportunities also exist to develop business skills in marketing and practice management.

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Search our registers

Search our registers

Find a registered individual practitioner or business.

Log CET points

Log CET points

Use the MyGOC area of our website to log CET points or find events in your local area

Enhanced CET

Enhanced CET

Our Continuing Education and Training (CET) scheme changed in January 2013

Careers in eyecare

Careers in eyecare

Thinking of becoming an optometrist or dispensing optician?