Opticians are eye care professionals who oversee the process of preparing the corrective lenses according to prescriptions provided by an ophthalmologist or optometrist. In some countries around the world, the optician may also diagnose eye problems and issue a corrective prescription as well. Generally, this type of health care professional must undergo some type of structured training and be registered or certified before offering services to the general public.
The optician is capable of creating any of the several types of vision correction devices commonly used today. This includes creating lenses to fit into a pair of glasses, making contact lenses, and even preparing various types of ophthalmic prosthetics to aid individuals with partially impaired sight. Often, the optician will take steps to ensure the patient is satisfied with the quality and function of the corrective lenses and may provide some type of follow up assistance as the patient adjusts to the new prescription.
In order to address various types of vision problems, the optician prepares refractive lenses to correct the vision issues associated with a specific patient. When properly prepared, the lenses will help a nearsighted person see objects at a distance clearly. A farsighted individual will be able to enjoy a clear view of objects that are closer and thus perform tasks such as reading a book or intricate needlework. In situations where there is a need to address more than one vision issue, the optician may also create lenses that are designed as bifocals and trifocals.
Choosing a career as an optician does require preparation. Basic training through an accredited program is considered essential in many countries. In addition, it is not unusual for graduates to undergo a certification process before being allowed to seek employment. Certification standards and procedures may be governed by a specific local agency or by a national agency. Failure to comply with the requirements set in place by the regulatory agencies can lead to revocation of the certification.
As with any type of healthcare career, the job of optician focuses on providing quality care to the patient. For this reason, the optician is likely to stay abreast of any developments in technology that would make it possible to more efficiently meet the needs of the patient, and assist them to enjoy the highest quality of vision possible. In order to accomplish this, it is not unusual for an optician to co-locate with ophthalmologists or optometrist so that the two professionals can communicate on the needs of a given patient.