Therapeutic Optometrist (Ophthalmic Medicine Prescriber)
A therapeutic optometrist differs from your regular optometrist who provides eye examination and prescribes vision corrective lenses. 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.
Apart from regular eye tests for glasses and contact lenses and general eye health examination, 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.