Geriatric Optometrist

Specialize in helping elderly people with poor eyesight.
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Quick Stats


Salary Range
$72,000 – $125,000

Data from U.S. Department of Labor

What do Geriatric Optometrists do?

A Geriatric Optometrist is an Optometrist who specializes in treating elderly patients. You see, an old body is like an old car: Because it’s logged so many miles, its parts are bound to wear down. Among the first to go? The eyes. That’s were a Geriatric Optometrist can help.

As a Geriatric Optometrist, you conduct eye exams and prescribe glasses and contact lenses like all Optometrists do. Because you specialize in geriatrics, however, you do a lot more than give people glasses. You’ve also got a laser focus on ocular conditions that commonly affect people over age 65, such as macular degeneration, cataracts, diabetic retinopathy, and glaucoma.

Often employed by hospitals and nursing homes, you diagnose and treat these and other ocular conditions when surgery or medication isn’t required, and refer patients to an Ophthalmologist when they are. (After all, you’re not a Physician; only Ophthalmologists are.) The result: Not only do you help elderly people see better, but you also help them maintain a more independent lifestyle.

According to the American Optometric Association, the percentage of Americans aged 65 or older has more than tripled since 1900. What’s more, the number of older Americans is expected to be nearly 70 million by 2030—twice the number in 1997. It seems to reason, then: As a Geriatric Optometrist, you’re probably one of the most in-demand Optometrists!

Should I be a Geriatric Optometrist?

You should have a doctoral degree or higher and share these traits:
  • Team Player: You're able to listen, communicate, and work with tons of different people.
  • Reliable: You can always be counted on to do a good job.
  • Logical Thinker: You take a step-by-step approach to analyze information and solve problems.

  • How to become a Geriatric Optometrist

    Most Geriatric Optometrists have a Doctorate. Start by getting your Bachelor's degree. Chart?chd=s:aaaaa9&chl=|||||doctorate+%28100%25%29&cht=p3&chs=466x180&chxr=0,0,100
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