Doctors of Optometry (Optometrists) are primary health care providers who examine, diagnose, treat and manage diseases and disorders of the eye and visual system. They are the leading providers of lifetime vision care with a full range of prescriptive authority related to vision conditions and eye diseases.
There are over 350 licensed optometrists in Nebraska, practicing in more than half of Nebraska's counties. Optometrists provide access to primary eye care for the majority of the state's population.
Their education includes a four-year doctoral degree specializing in vision care, eye health, and primary eye care procedures.
Optometrists in Nebraska:
- Detect and diagnose eye diseases such as glaucoma, cataracts, retinal disorders, lid disorders, and infections such as conjunctivitis
- Prescribe drugs to treat eye diseases
- Detect serious conditions like diabetes, hypertension, auto-immune diseases, and cancers through comprehensive eye exams
- Evaluate and treat vision conditions such as near-sightedness, farsightedness, astigmatism and presbyopia
- Perform minor procedures such as removing foreign objects from the eye
- Counsel patients on surgical and non-surgical options that meet visual needs for school, work and lifestyle
- Provide pre- and post-operative care, especially for glaucoma; laser surgery, refractive, and cataract patients
- Evaluate vision acuity (refraction) and prescribe corrective lenses or devices
- Provide vision therapy and low vision rehabilitation services
Differences Between Comprehensive Eye Exams & Screenings:
The Beyond 20/20 Podcast
Beyond 20/20 is a project of the Nebraska Optometric Association and its 275 Doctors of Optometry—independent primary health care professionals for the eye who serve in more than 80 communities throughout Nebraska.
Hosted by NOA Past President Dr. Andrew Bateman, Beyond 20/20 features interesting 20-30 minute conversations intended to educate consumers, thought leaders and other health experts about the latest trends and issues in eye care and how eye health and vision intersect with school, work, lifestyle, and overall health. New episodes are posted the last Monday of each month.
An in-person comprehensive eye exam with a Doctor of Optometry is the medically-recognized standard to assure eye health and precise vision. Instrumentation in the doctor’s office and the optometrist’s training allows a more thorough evaluation of vision and eye health than screenings offered at schools, pediatrician offices, the DMV or through online vision tests. While screenings and online technologies may identify some vision abnormalities, they miss more than they find. And in some cases, vision screenings give a false sense of security for those individuals who “pass” the screening and then don’t seek care that could diagnose other problems.