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Opticians give people the gift of better vision. They are the eye experts who specialize in correcting people's vision. Opticians are qualified to design and fit lenses of all types and then give them out to patients. These lenses could be spectacle lenses (glasses), contact lenses, products called low-vision aids (magnified lenses or larger font), or even opthalmic prosthetics (artificial eyes, also known as an ocular prosthesis) for people with partial sight.
There are various types of eye practitioners; other types include optometrists or ophthalmologists. While optometry and ophthalmology are both disciplines that deal with the health and disease of the eye among other various things, opticians generally only deal with fitting and dispensing lenses. However, in countries besides the United States and Canada, licensed opticians may also examine the eyes for disease or other problems and issue their own prescriptions.
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Opticians are the lens experts. People come to them after having received a prescription for corrective lenses from an optometrist or ophthalmologist. Opticians then take that prescription, consult with the patient, and come up with the best lenses option for him or her.
One of the most interesting things an optician does is actually create lenses; they may shape lenses to fit into a certain glasses frame, make their own contact lenses, or carefully prepare a prosthetic eye for a patient in need. They also create special kinds of lenses such as bifocals or trifocals to help people with complex vision problems.
Patients go to optometrists with their vision prescriptions to obtain their lenses. It is an optician’s responsibility to make sure the patient is comfortable with the lenses, and that the prescription is filled correctly. Opticians spend a lot of their time working with patients to make sure they leave comfortable and prepared to properly use whatever lenses they get. While opticians are primarily concerned with patients' vision, they also must take people’s preferences into consideration when it comes to style. Great opticians will fit patients with lenses that are both comfortable and stylistically appealing to them.
Opticians often work within a team of other eye specialists such as optometrists, ophthalmologists, and possibly other opticians as well. Together, they collaborate to determine what is best for patients. However, some opticians work on their own.
The workplace of opticians falls into the category of most health care or retail offices. These people typically work in office settings, sometimes among other opticians or eye doctors. They work with equipment that cuts glass and may involve chemicals, so some safety precautions are needed. Also, as opticians dispense lenses of all kinds, there may be all kinds of glasses frames or contact frames on display around the office or store. All in all, opticians work in relatively quiet and calm spaces.