You go to the optometrist if you have trouble with your eyes. For example, you see blurred or you see spots, you always have burning eyes or are very sensitive to light. You may also want to have your eyes checked for glaucoma or another hereditary eye disease. For almost all examinations that the ophthalmologist does, you can often go to the optometrist faster and just as well. You do not need a referral letter for this. If treatment proves necessary, the optometrist will always refer you to the eye doctor.
Your first examination at the optometrist looks exactly like a visit to the eye doctor. It always starts with an eye test. Then the health of the eye is discussed and examened. The total investigation takes approximately 45 minutes. That includes the waiting time that is needed after the drip to widen the pupil.