Optometrists are the primary healthcare practitioners of the eye and visual system who provide comprehensive eye and vision care, which includes refraction and dispensing, detection/diagnosis and management of disease in the eye, and the rehabilitation of conditions of the visual system as defined by the World Council of Optometry. An optometrist also provides specialized services like vision therapy, sports vision care, low vision care, contact lenses, pediatric and geriatric care. An optometrist being the first line of defense for vision protection manages and co-manages one’s eye.
23rd March is marked as the World Optometry Day and the following week as the World Optometry Week. This day is generally celebrated to create awareness about optometry as a profession. It was the first time World Optometry Day was celebrated at SRM Institute of Science and Technology (formerly known as SRM University). The previous week optometry students conducted vision screening sponsored by Essilor for Health Sciences students of SRM Institute of Science and Technology (formerly known as SRM University). The events and inauguration function was held on 24th March 2014 and witnessed a participation of 7 optometry colleges across Tamil Nadu. Almost more than 350 students had attended the program. The day started off with 6 teams participating in the Bausch & Lomb Intercollegiate Optometry Quiz. The first place was secured by Elite School of Optometry, Chennai and students from SRM Institute of Science and Technology (formerly known as SRM University) were the runners up. Next event was debate on the topic “What after Optometry – India or Abroad?” 14 students participated in the debate and came up with different views & agendas. The discussion ended with the goal that whether one stays in India or Abroad their aim should be becoming a good professional. The best speaker award in the India team was bagged by Ms. Aparna B from Vasan Institute of Ophthalmology and Research, Chennai. The best speaker from the abroad team was bagged by Ms. Priyaja of Elite School of Optometry, Chennai. The Medical college lobby was shining with 31 working eye models exhibited by optometry students of various colleges, lauded by all faculties and students. The best model was awarded to students of SRM Institute of Science and Technology (formerly known as SRM University) (Near Reflex triad) and the runner up prize was bagged by the centroscope team of Shri Prakash Institute of Optometry, Chennai. The inauguration function was presided by Professor Dr. N. Chandraprabha (Director - Health Sciences) and inaugurated by Pro Vice Chancellor (Medical) Prof. Dr. P Thangaraju. The felicitation was conveyed by Vice Principal Dr. K. Gireesh. Dr. K. Ravishankar, Founder & Director, Sri Ramana Eye Centre was the Chief Guest at the function and addressed the gathering on how ophthalmologists and optometrists complement each other. This view was strengthen by Guest of Honour Mr. P. S. Rekhi, Director, Spectrum Eye Care bringing about the future of eye care be handled optometrists independently and referring the appropriate cases to concerned ophthalmologists thereby reducing the burden of vision
related issues in the country. The function was a grand success due to the active participation of all students, support from SRM and the sponsors – “Essilor”, “Bausch & Lomb” and "Shree Ganesh Enterprises”.