Optometrists can now provide treatment to people with glaucoma.
Most people with glaucoma see Ophthalmologists (Eye Specialists), in private clinics or hospital eye clinics. Glaucoma treatment is most commonly prescription eye drops to reduce eye pressure. Optometrists can now prescribe these eye drops. This is like nurses with extra training who are now able to prescribe medications.
This should make it easier for people needing glaucoma treatment. Optometrists will still work very closely with Eye Specialists.
In order to be able to prescribe glaucoma medication we had extra training. We also need to have advanced diagnostic equipment. These instruments to record visual fields, scan the retina, and measure corneal thickness. All these tests are now used to make a diagnosis as well as tracking the risk of getting glaucoma in the future.
Glaucoma affects one in ten New Zealanders over the aged of 70 and is the number one cause of preventable blindness. The challenge is there are no noticeable symptoms in early glaucoma, so early detection of glaucoma is vital to prevent blindness.
For more information visit Glaucoma NZ.