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Focusing on Hispanic Eyecare
Date:6/24/2009

ST. LOUIS, June 24 /PRNewswire/ -- If you are having difficulties with your eyesight or need a complete eye exam, which eyecare professional should you visit? The answer may not be as crystal clear as it seems because there are various types of eye care professionals, such as opticians, optometrists and ophthalmologists, and all of them play an important role in contributing to proper eyecare.

The American Optometric Association (AOA) and its members are committed to improving the quality and availability of eye and vision care for all Americans. However, we have noticed that Hispanic patients sometimes shy away from visiting an optometrist because of previous knowledge derived from a cultural background that defines the role of the optometrist differently in the United States than how is defined in many countries in Latin America.

In order to simplify the task of finding proper eye care in the blink of an eye, let us take a quick look at the three O's of eye care: Optometrist, Ophthalmologist and Optician.

The Optometrist is an eye care doctor who examines, diagnoses, treats and manages diseases and eye disorders. This professional has gone through four years of college, an additional four years of study at a college of optometry, and in many cases, one more year in a residency program. A doctor of optometry will tell you if you need glasses and will look further to determine if you suffer an eye condition or eye disease. This professional can also prescribe medication. Optometrists are the largest eye care profession and provide two- thirds of all eye care services. In summary, an optometrist in the U.S. is a doctor in optometry who diagnoses and treats eye diseases and conditions, including prescriptions of eyewear and of the appropriate drugs.

If your children need to get an eye exam before the opening of the school year, or if one morning you notice their eyes could
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SOURCE Transitions Optical, Inc.; American Optometric Association
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