Geriatric Vision Care – a New Look at the Old
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World-wide, Optometry is expanding its scope of practice in many jurisdictions. The campaign to use therapeutic pharmaceutical agents (TPAs) is on-going in most countries and optometrists are increasingly becoming involved in co-managing glaucoma and the ocular complications of diabetes, interfacing with systemic and ophthalmic specialists. Optometrists continue to define their role as members of the healthcare team by serving as post-operative care specialists following refractive and cataract surgeries. In addition, Optometry continues to be a leader in pediatric eye care and pediatric eye research, including working with children with learning disabilities and children with special needs (multiple-challenges). While low vision, contact lenses and orthoptics (vision training/binocular vision) remain staples of the traditional domain, they should not be ignored at the expense of new growth. Even as we struggle, some ask, “is the time ripe for Optometry to begin to recognize its own subspecialties?” Although all optometrists graduate as primary eye care providers, as the profession expands special interest practitioners have laid claim to areas of expertise such as sports vision specialist, rehabilitation vision specialist, neurooptometric specialty and so on. Just as medicine, and then ophthalmology before us, recognized sub-disciplines, should Optometry mature along a similar path?