Recent changes in scope of practice legislation mean that optometrists in Alberta will soon be able to provide even more services to our patients.
Of particular significance is the ability to treat glaucoma independently. Glaucoma is a disease that can affect all ages, and results in a gradual loss of peripheral vision. The process happens painlessly and imperceptibly in most forms of glaucoma, so optometrists are usually the first to detect it during routine eye exams. We are proud to announce that optometrists in Alberta will now be able to treat most forms of glaucoma independently.
Other changes in our scope of practice legislation include being able to order lab tests directly, and prescribe oral medications.
This development is the result of a long process educating and informing decision-makers in many levels of government, and the hard work of many members of our regulatory board, paving the way for this victory to occur. We thank all those involved as it means better access to more levels of eye care for all Albertans – our patients benefit the most from this decision!
A certification process will need to take place before we are able to officially practice under the expanded scope. This is likely to take several months. Stay tuned as we will report any developments as they occur.