ABOUT THE OPTOMETRIST
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Dr. Charron's Optometric Training
Dr. Peter Charron moved to Bellingham in 2010 after practicing optometry for 2 years in Rhode Island. He graduated from the University of Delaware with a major in Neuroscience, then earned his Doctorate of Optometry from the Southern College of Optometry in Memphis, TN in 2008. He has wanted to be an Optometrist ever since he was introduced to vision therapy in college.
Fellowship Training in Vision Therapy (FCOVD)
In 2014, he earned a Board Certification with the College of Vision Development which requires passing written and oral exams, and over 100 hours of additional coursework in vision therapy related material. He is the only provider in Whatcom & Skagit County to hold this credential.
Dr. Charron is a member of many organizations including the American Optometric Association, the Optometric Extension Program the College of Vision Development and the Learning Disabilities Association of Washington.
Dr. Charron's Outside Interests
Outside of the office, Dr. Charron holds lots of different hobbies and interests. Aside from enjoying most of his time with his wife and two kids, he likes to play piano, exercise, and read. Though never an avid hiker or camper before living in Washington, Bellingham and the surrounding areas have given him a new appreciation and interest in the outdoor activities.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
How long does it take to become an Optometrist?
To become an Optometrist, you have complete undergraduate studies, then 4 more years of Optometry school.
Optometrist Scope of Practice
Can Optometrists diagnose Cataracts?
Yes. Optometrists diagnose Cataracts.
Can Optometrists do Laser Eye Surgery?
In some states, Optometrists can perform Laser Eye Surgery, but in Washington, we cannot.
Can Optometrists treat Blepharitis?
Yes. Optometrist can and do treat Blepharitis frequently.
Can an Optometrist treat Pink Eye?
Yes. An Optometrist can treat Pink Eye (Conjunctivitis).
Can an Optometrist remove scratches from the eyes?
Yes. If your eyes are itchy or scratching, Optometrists can diagnose and manage most of those problems. If your eye has been scratched, by a fingernail, or another foreign object, an Optometrist can also manage and treat this problem.
Can Optometrists treat Glaucoma?
Yes. Optometrists can and do treat Glaucoma - primarily with prescription eye drops and in some states ocular surgery.
Can Optometrists perform surgery?
Though laws vary by state, Optometrists can perform minor surgeries such as foreign body removals from the cornea, conjunctiva, and eyelid, eyelash epilation, nasolacrimal duct probing, punctal dilation, and amniotic membrane inserts. In some states Optometrists can perform refractive surgery and glaucoma surgeries i.e. trabeculoplasty.
Other Questions About Our Optometrist
What do Optometrists do?
Optometrists are health care specialists according to Medicare. They perform comprehensive eye examinations, diagnose and treat acute and chronic medical eye problems like Glaucoma, Macular Degeneration, Conjunctivitis, Dry Eye Syndrome etc. and test for eyeglass prescriptions. They also fit contact lenses, and treat Binocular Vision Problems like Convergence Insufficiency, Strabismus and Amblyopia through Vision Therapy.
Are Optometrists doctors?
Yes. Optometrists have earned a Doctors of Optometry (O.D.) by going to an accredited Optometry school for four years after their undergraduate studies. They have a different training from an Ophthalmologist who is a physician (M.D.) and a graduate of a Medical school.
Which is better to go to, Optometrist or Ophthalmologist?
Every patient has varying needs, but in general, if you need general eye or vision care, or vision therapy, you will probably go see an Optometrist. If you need surgery outside the scope of an Optometrist license (i.e. corneal transplants, LASIK, Cataract, Strabismus, Retinal surgeries) then you have to see an Ophthalmologist.
Why do Optometrists dilate pupils?
Optometrists dilate pupils primarily for two reasons. Reason number one is that when the pupil is larger and opened, your optometrist can view the middle and the back structures of the eye more thoroughly. Without dilating the eyes, we get an incomplete viewing of the retina, the lens, the vitreous and choroid of the eye - all portions of the eye which are home to many common ocular diseases. The second reason for dilation is to measure a more accurate eyeglasses prescription - especially with children who are farsighted.