Field of Study: Ophthalmic Technology
Ophthalmic technology programs prepare people to help eye doctors examine and treat vision problems. Students learn how to interview patients, apply medicines to eyes, and test vision. They learn to operate equipment, instruct patients, and keep records.
Did you know that besides your brain, your eyes are the most complex organ in your body? Your eyes have over two million working parts. In a normal lifetime, your eyes will bring you almost 24 million images of the world around you. As you can see, your eyeballs are capable of doing some impressive things!
Do these facts fascinate you? Do you enjoy helping people? Does the medical profession excite you? Are you comfortable working with technical equipment? If you answered "yes" to these questions, ophthalmic technology may be the program for you.
As a student in this program, you learn the anatomy of the eye and how the eye works. You also learn how to run different kinds of vision tests on patients in order to help an eye doctor make diagnoses. You practice interacting with patients and asking them questions about their medical history.
Sometimes patients have eye problems that cannot be fixed by eyeglasses or contact lenses. Because ophthalmologists are medical doctors, they sometimes need to conduct surgery on a patient's eyes. As a student of ophthalmic technology, you learn how to assist in medical procedures such as surgery.
There are a handful of colleges and universities that offer certificates, associate degrees, or bachelor's degrees in ophthalmic technology. A certificate typically takes one to two years of full-time study after high school. An associate degree usually takes two to three years. And a bachelor's degree generally takes four years.