The function of the ophthalmic allied health professional is to assist the ophthalmologist by performing tasks, collecting data, administering treatment ordered by an ophthalmologist and supervising patients. Ophthalmic allied health professionals supply important information to the physician who is treating the patient and assists in areas such as surgery and patient education/compliance. They are not independent practitioners and do not diagnose or treat eye disorders, nor do they prescribe medications.
According to the Joint Commission on Allied Health Personnel in Ophthalmology, ophthalmic medical personnel are in high demand. This demand is due to technological advances in vision care and a growing aging population with many vision care needs.