The Saskatchewan Association of Optometrists made this press release on Friday January 8th to inform its members and the public of the improved access to glaucoma care in our province. This new legislation reflects today’s modern optometric education, and brings Saskatchewan Optometrists’ scope of practice in line with colleagues in British Columbia, Alberta, NWT, Manitoba, Ontario and New Brunswick, along with many US states.
A few months ago, we blogged this post which briefly explains what glaucoma is, as well as how the Association was pushing for this scope of practice expansion. From that blog post:
Glaucoma is a progressive eye disease that has a characteristic appearance of damage to the optic nerve, often as a result of high pressure inside the eye. In the vast majority of cases, glaucoma has no symptoms until it is very advanced – it is usually diagnosed by having regular eye examinations as recommended by your optometrist.
There are many different types of glaucoma, and Optometrists will only be managing the most common type – primary open angle glaucoma. For most cases, the initial treatment is medicated eyedrops that reduce the intraocular pressure by either decreasing the amount of fluid (aqueous humor) produced, or by increasing its outflow. Depending on the cause or the severity of glaucoma, a referral to a glaucoma specialist and surgical procedure(s) may be indicated.