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Pharmacists and optometrists

Did you know, Australian optometrists possess a range of clinical skills and can perform the following procedures including, but not limited to:

  • refraction – measuring the optics of the eye
  • binocular vision tests – testing the coordination of the two eyes as a team
  • ophthalmoscopy – internal examination of the eye to help identify eye disease
  • slitlamp biomicroscopy – external, detailed examination of the eye
  • tonometry – measuring the pressure of the eyeball
  • anaesthetics to perform tonometry
  • optical dispensing – supply and management of spectacles and contact lens
  • mydriatics where required for internal examinations
  • cycloplegics where required.

Therapeutically endorsed optometrists are also qualified to use:

  • medicated eye drops to conduct diagnostic procedures.

Additionally, throughout Australia optometrists are authorised to possess, use and prescribe scheduled medicines – in the form of topical eye drops – such as anti-inflammatory and corticosteroid eye drops to treat eye diseases such as conjunctivitis, keratitis, uveitis and glaucoma.

As a pharmacist you can direct your customers to our website to find out more about some of the areas of primary eye care that optometrists provide, including, but not limited to:

  • contact lenses
  • sports vision
  • colour vision
  • low vision
  • children’s vision
  • vision therapy
  • workplace occupational health and safety.

Effective collaboration between pharmacists, GPs and optometrists can enhance patient care and reduce hospital waiting lists.

Our campaign

In May 2018 we launched an advertising and awareness campaign to make pharmacists and pharmacy assistants more aware of eye symptoms which require a referral to an optometrist.

Our campaign highlights the top five symptoms a pharmacist might be presented with which would best be referred to an optometrist for specific diagnosis. These include;

  • eye pain
  • flashing lights
  • excessive discharge
  • loss of vision
  • sensitivity to light.

We have also worked in collaboration with the Pharmacy Guild of Australia and the Pharmaceutical Society of Australia to deliver CPD on eye health to pharmacists.

Pharmacists are welcome to participate in our CPD events to learn more about eye health issues.

Connect with your local optometrist to refer your patients.

Contact our Professional Development and Clinical Policy Manager for more information on networking with optometrists.

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