What is an Optometrist?

Optometrists are doctors of optometry (OD) who specialize in the practice of primary eye care.

Like ophthalmologists who attend a four-year post-college medical school, optometrists must attend a four-year post-college optometry school.

Optometrists take two years of general medical courses (as do ophthalmologists in medical school), followed then by two years of intense specialization courses in the field of optometry.

Upon graduation from optometry school, optometrists must then pass several national board exams and a North Carolina board exam.

Only then can an optometrist take the grueling North Carolina license test which allows an optometrist to be properly licensed to practice optometry in North Carolina.

Optometry and ophthalmology are similar in many ways, and in North Carolina, optometrists can do everything that an ophthalmologist can do except surgery.

In fact, optometrists can diagnose and treat most eye diseases, perform non-invasive procedures such as foreign body removal, prescribe all medications, give prescriptions for different types of eyeglasses and monthly contacts made of unique silicon material.

Optometrists are generally thought of as the primary care doctors for eye care (similar to a family doctor or general practitioner). Ophthalmologists are thought of as secondary/tertiary care doctors who handle advanced eye diseases and conditions as well as performing surgery (including laser surgery).

Because the education for optometrists is more of a concentration in optics and disease diagnosis and management, optometrists are very well trained to provide the best refractions for lenses of all types.

It is generally true that optometrists provide the best refractions because of their intense education and training in this field.

For this reason, optometrists are your best first-line of defense for having the best and clearest possible vision, while wearing color-blending contact lenses for a natural look.

During a normal thorough comprehensive refraction exam, an optometrist will perform the following steps:

This is used to verify your current vision and to compare it to your current lenses and prescription, if applicable. At AOC, we use only the best phoropter. Ours is computer automated, allowing the optometrist to obtain the most accurate refractions possible.

  • Dilate your eyes with eye drops.

The purpose of this step is to prevent your pupils (the center dark part of your eye) from closing when the doctor looks into them with a light to see inside of your eyes.

This is done to check your retinas, the central vision part of the retina (the macula), as well as the optic nerve, for any conditions or abnormalities.

These retinal photos become a permanent part of your record, thus also providing a history of your eye health so that future changes in your eyes can be easily detected and documented.

SEO Basics Guide

Search Engine Optimization Fundamentals for Effective Web Marketing

Search Engine Optimization is a type of Web marketing strategy to rank a site high on the search engine list. It’s the wish of every site owner to have their site appear on top when people type in specific keywords or phrases since it increases traffic significantly. These free listings that show up on the search engine are called “organic” or “natural” results. Unfortunately, there is no simple formula for making a site rank on top since many factors are considered, and each search engine uses different methods.

A Guide to the Basics of SEO: How it Works

When performing a search, a Web spider captures a URL and checks the pages based on factors such as the title, meta description tag, body copy, alternate text for images and links and then stores it in an index. When the user types in a keyword or phrase, the search engine looks in the index to display the right sites.

SEO Strategies and Techniques

SEO-conscious content developers are strategic about choosing the right titles and words in their articles. Before writing, they think about what keywords users will type in to find the article. (Google’s keyword tool is a helpful resource.) The keywords must not be too vague and general. For instance, “music” is not as good a title as “funk jazz music” since the term music is too broad to be found by anyone. It helps to be specific, but not too specific that no one can find it.

Other basic tips to know:

  • Avoid overstuffing the page with keywords since the search engine will most likely view it as spam. Repeating the key phrases every 100 words or so is a better technique.
  • The article should be written seamlessly without it seeming artificial or forced.
  • Add keywords in the subtitles to increase the chances for higher ranking.
  • Cite well-known websites that relate to the content.
  • Build external links through directories, social bookmarks, Facebook and Twitter.

SEO Techniques to Avoid

Search engines can blacklist sites that try to manipulate the pages to attract viewers. A website containing more than 50 unrelated links (link farms) for the sole purpose of getting traffic is unethical. Anything that seems over the top or deceptive, like keyword stuffing, should be avoided.

Ranking high on the search engine and building high traffic takes time. No one has a guide to perfecting SEO since search engines do not disclose everything. Google search uses as many as 300 factors for ranking sites. The best way to go is to follow the SEO advice of marketing experts.