Optometrists are primary healthcare specialists trained to examine the eyes for defects in sight, ocular diseases and problems related to general health. These functions are reserved to registered optometrists and Ophthalmic Clinical officers. Optometrists are also licensed to fit and supply optical appliances such as spectacles, contact lenses and low vision aids.
Optometrists are responsible for detection, diagnosis and management of ocular disease and the rehabilitation of conditions of the visual system.
We are the regulator for the optical professions in the Rwanda. Our purpose is to protect the public by promoting high standards of education, performance and conduct amongst opticians.
As healthcare professionals optical professionals have a responsibility to ensure the care and safety of patients and the public and to uphold professional standards.
What’s the difference between Optometrist and dispensing optician?
An Optometrist examines eyes, tests sight and prescribes spectacles or contact lenses for those who need them. They also fit spectacles or contact lenses, give advice on visual problems and detect any ocular disease or abnormality, referring the patient to a medical practitioner if necessary. Optometrists may also share with a medical practitioner the care of patients who have chronic ophthalmic conditions. Once qualified, optometrists can undertake further training to specialise in eye treatment by therapeutic drugs.
A Dispensing Optician advises on, fits and supplies the most appropriate spectacles after taking account of each patient’s visual, lifestyle and vocational needs. When advising people about new spectacles, an important asset is an interest in fashion and style. Dispensing opticians also play an important role in advising and dispensing low vision aids to those who are partially sighted. They are also able to fit contact lenses after undergoing further specialist training.
To train or practise as an optometrist or dispensing optician in the Rwanda, you must be registered with the Rwanda Allied Health Professions Optical Council.