A: An optometrist who is “therapeutic” is trained and licensed to treat eye diseases and write prescriptions as needed, in addition to ascertaining the need for visual corrections such as glasses, contact lenses and refractive surgery. A therapeutic optometrist has completed eight years of college and postgraduate instruction leading to the Doctor of Optometry (O.D.) degree and the conditions they treat and manage vary by state.
An optometric glaucoma specialist is an optometrist that has gained training in addition to that of an therapeutic optometrist allowing him or her to treat patients with glaucoma. The glaucoma specialist can also prescribe oral medications in addition to the topical ophthalmic medications prescribed by the therapeutic optometrist.