Choosing Your Optometrist - Factors to Consider

Therapeutic Optometrist (Ophthalmic Medicine Prescriber)

A therapeutic optometrist differs from your regular optometrist who provides vision tests for glasses and contact lenses and general eye examination. A therapeutic optometrist has undertaken additional training, study and registration in the diagnosis and management of eye diseases, in ocular pharmacology, and in the treatment of eye conditions with Schedule 4 prescription-only medicines.

A therapeutic optometrist is qualified to diagnose and initiate treatment for glaucoma (in co-management with an ophthalmologist), prescribe antibiotics and antiviral eye drops for eye infections and ulcers, medications to treat eye redness, inflammation, eye allergies, dry eye and contact lens-related infections, remove corneal foreign bodies, and use eye drops to help treat children with amblyopia (lazy eye)Most treatments prescribed by a therapeutic optometrist are available on the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS).

A therapeutic optometrist can do all the things a regular optometrist can do, plus a lot more.

Ocular therapeutics has been part of an optometrist's training since the mid-2000s, and currently about 6 out of 10 optometrists in Victoria are therapeutic optometrists. The previous generations of optometrists are able to upgrade their qualifications to become endorsed in therapeutics by undertaking further post-graduate training, if they wish to.

​In addition, therapeutic optometrists are required to stay up-to-date with the latest in medical treatments in eye care with mandatory therapeutic-specific continuing education. This ensures that patients receive the best possible care and treatment for their eye conditions.

Is your optometrist therapeutically endorsed?

​To find out whether an optometrist is endorsed in ocular therapeutics, you can search for the optometrist's credentials via the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA):

A therapeutic optometrist will have the following endorsement listed:

  • Endorsed as qualified to obtain, possess, administer, prescribe or supply schedule 2, 3 or 4 medicines for the treatment of conditions of the eye.

​A regular, non-therapeutic optometrist will show the following notation:

  • The optometrist is not qualified for endorsement for scheduled medicines and is not able to prescribe Schedule 4 medicines for the treatment of conditions of the eye.

For the best optometric care in relation to eye health and management of eye diseases, choose a therapeutic optometrist for your next eye test.

Glory Eyecare Optometrists are endorsed in ocular therapeutics and provide the best optometric care with leading equipment.