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Optometry

Optometry Ireland

Optometry is a healthcare profession which is all about the eyes, with optometrists being the first port of call for people with eye problems. Optometrists are healthcare professionals trained to examine eyes to detect defects in vision and ocular diseases, such as glaucoma and conjunctivitis.

They are the Dr Houses of the eye world: just by looking into someone’s eyes, optometrists can suss out whether that person has certain health problems, such as diabetes or high blood pressure, and, if found, to make an appropriate referral to a medical practitioner.

They also help the visually challenged to see by conducting eye tests, prescribing lenses, therapy or eye exercises. Optometrists don’t perform medical and surgical procedures, although prescribing optometrists can prescribe medication for certain eye-related ailments. They work in a range of environments, from high street chains to hospitals and community settings.

Your Day to Day

  • Examining the eye tissues from a variety of directions, using instruments that shine light into the patient's eye and magnify various features.
  • Placing combinations of lenses in front of one or both eyes to check how well the eye focuses.
  • Recommending eye exercises and advising solutions to the problems associated with visual impairment.
  • Travel is not a regular feature during the working day.
  • Working hours vary depending on the employer; it can involve evenings and weekend work but not normally shift work.
  • Located in mainly in towns or cities throughout the country.
  • Opportunities for self-employment is very possible as many works in private practice, which can lead to owning your own business someday.

Career development
Most newly qualified optometrists enter private practice either as individuals or employees of larger practices. They may specialise in contact lenses, environmental vision or the care of the partially sighted. A small number undertake research for a higher degree. Becoming a business owner is also a common route Optometrists. 

Salaries

Vary depending on the chosen area to work.

  • High Street chains - €40,000 - €60,000
  • Independent Practices - €55,000 - €70,000
  • While Hospitals and Research vary a lot - €35,000 - €80,000

Entry requirements
In order to practice as an Optometrist in Ireland, you must be registered with CORU the regulatory board of Ireland. This allows registration with the Irish Optician's Board as a fully qualified optometrist. Those registered with the Board are also eligible to register with the General Optical Council and to practice in the UK. Registration with the Association of Optometrists, UK, is also required for practice within the UK as is registration with the General Optical Council.

Studying in Ireland

  • B.Sc. (Optometry) (Dublin Institute of Technology)
  • B.Sc. Hons Optometry (University of Ulster Coleraine)
  • Clinical training is provided in the Dublin Institute of Technology Optometry Clinic.
  • Students may be required to undergo Garda vetting before being allowed to register.
Posted on 29 November 2019 by Noel Quirke
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