Optometrist: FSA Eligibility
Eligible expenses for Limited FSAs can vary. To find out exactly what your Limited FSA covers, contact your FSA administrator.
What is an optometrist?
Optometrists are eye specialists, but have not attended medical school or obtained a medical doctor (MD) degree. Ophthalmologists are often confused with optometrists, who are not physicians. Optometrists have obtained a doctor of optometry (DO) degree which requires four years of optometry schooling after completing an undergraduate degree (College of Optometrists).
Eye exams are the most common service performed by an optometrist. Fees for the services of an optometrist are eligible for reimbursement with a consumer-directed healthcare account. Other services provided by optometrists include vision tests, prescribing contact lenses and glasses, detecting eye abnormalities, and prescribing medications for certain eye diseases.
What are eye exams?
An eye exam is a series of tests, performed by a specialized medical doctor called an ophthalmologist, optometrist, or orthoptist, which assesses vision and the ability to focus on and detect objects visually. Eye exams are also meant to check for eye diseases. Eye exams include the use of bright lights and other instruments.
Eye exams typically include a visual acuity test which involves reading letters from across a room. Eye exams also include a manual visual field test that involve detecting spots of light at various locations which tests for range of vision. A refraction assessment is the part of an eye exam that allows the doctor to write an eyeglass prescription. The medical professional combines various lenses and instruments during the refraction assessment portion of the eye exam to determine the optimal corrective prescription to improve vision (AllAboutVision.com).
The doctor will also conduct a slit-lamp examination during an eye exam which allows them to visually assess the health of the eye. Other eye-health related tests that occur during an eye exam include the applanation tonometry test, which checks for risk of glaucoma by measuring the amount of force required to temporarily flatten the cornea.