Doctors of optometry (O.D.s/optometrists) provide more than two-thirds of primary eye health care in the U.S. Optometrists are one of three types of eye care providers, alongside ophthalmologists (specialists who focus on more advanced surgical procedures) and opticians (who fit and/or fulfill corrective eye wear at the direction of either an optometrist or ophthalmologists). As health care providers, optometrists are trained to examine, diagnose, treat and manage eye disorders, diseases and injuries that manifest in the eye. In addition to providing eye and vision care, they may also play a key role in an individual’s general health and well-being. Optometrists can detect systemic diseases, provide vaccinations and prescribe medications.
The links to the right lead to maps showing a comparison of all states and territories for the following three policy areas:
1) authority to perform ophthalmic procedures
2) injectable authority
3) prescription of controlled substances (shown below)
Choose a tab to explore different options. For more detailed information, please click on a state or territory.
Optometrists can administer injections depending on state law. The most common injection optometrists administer are those related to the treatment of anaphylaxis. Some states allow optometrists to administer other types of injections if a patient is unresponsive to oral medications. Some states allow optometrists to administer vaccinations, including the COVID-19 vaccine.