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Kentucky College of Optometry
147 Sycamore Street
Pikeville, Kentucky 41501
Optometry is the independent primary healthcare profession that specializes in diagnosis and treatment of diseases and disorders of the eye and visual system. Doctors of Optometry (O.D.) are the primary care doctors of the eye who perform comprehensive examinations on people of all ages to preserve ocular health by prescribing contact lenses and glasses, treating diseases such as glaucoma, performing specific surgical procedures and providing pre- and post-operative care for eye surgery patients. Additionally, the curriculum for the Doctor of Optometry consists of courses such as human anatomy, physiology and pharmacology that enable optometrists to often detect critical health issues (diabetes, hypertension, etc.) and refer patients for immediate treatment.
One of the best ways to determine if optometry is the right career path for you is to shadow Doctors of Optometry in different settings. You’ll find optometrists in private practice, group practice and in community hospital settings. These locations provide the best understanding of what it means to be an optometrist. When you obtain your Doctor of Optometry degree, the opportunity for practice is not just limited to those locations. Optometrists can utilize their education for research, academics, consulting, in the military, in large corporations and as healthcare administrators. The opportunities are endless.
The Better Access to Quality Eye Care Act was signed into law by Kentucky Gov. Steve Beshear in Feb. 2011. It allows optometrists to perform a range of new procedures, including Yag capsulotomy — post cataract surgery — and argon laser trabeculoplasty and selective laser trabeculoplasty — both forms of glaucoma surgery. With this law, Kentucky became the third state in the nation to expand the law giving optometrists the ability to employ a wider range of treatment options for patients throughout the state. Two-thirds of Kentucky’s 120 counties do not have an ophthalmology practice, while optometrists have practices in 106 counties, including 77 percent of counties designated as “medically underserved.” With more than three million Kentuckians currently being served by doctors of optometry, these additional services make primary eye care more accessible to rural populations.