/ /

  • linkedin
  • Increase Font
  • Sharebar

    Why aren’t ODs referring to each other?


    Threshold visual field testing would also be warranted for these patients, along with photodocumenting the optic nerves.

    Other diagnostic tests that offices may include as part of a glaucoma work-up include:

    • Corneal hysteresis

    • Dynamic contour tonometry

    • Pattern electroretinogram measurements

    Related: Why opticals must exceed, not meet, expectations

    Patient referrals

    What if you practice in an office that doesn’t have access to diagnostic technologies such as OCT, threshold visual fields, and fundus photography?

    Many practitioners may look to the closest ophthalmologist and refer the patient for a glaucoma work-up based on the suspicious findings. But is there any reason we are not referring them to our OD colleagues who are currently equipped to care for these patients?

    We personally know several optometric thought leaders in the glaucoma arena who encompass both optometry and ophthalmology. The medical care of glaucoma patients is within the scope of optometry, and many ODs in the profession are embarking on a full-scope practice modality.

    Knowing this and ophthalmology’s increasing surgical role, it is incumbent upon optometry to look within the profession to help fill the void of medical care for patients when appropriate.

    As such, it is critical for optometrists to seek those within the profession who have vested into caring for patients with certain conditions. It is  important for ODs who provide advanced care for certain ocular conditions to educate their colleagues in their vicinity on the technologies or training that they may have.

    Related: The benefits of cleaning out your practice

    Contact lens fitting

    Advanced contact lens fittings are another area that justifies intraprofessional referrals.

    With the speed at which advanced designs continue to evolve and revolutionize the vision and comfort we provide our patients, it is critical to seek appropriate practices to refer patients in need of this care.

    Although keratoconus patients immediately come to mind as those needing specialty contact lens services, other conditions include:

    • Pellucid marginal degeneration

    • Severe dry eye

    • Corneal injuries

    • Persistent punctate epitheliopathy

    • Epithelial basement dystrophy

    • Penetrating keratoplasty

    For some patients, contact lenses can change their lives.

    Mile Brujic, OD, FAAO
    Dr. Mile Brujic practices in Bowling Green, OH. He also owns Optometric Insights, a service providing career coaching to optometrists.
    David Kading, OD, FAAO, FCLSA
    Dr. Kading owns a two-location, three-doctor practice in Seattle. He specializes in dry eye and contact lenses with an emphasis on ...


    You must be signed in to leave a comment. Registering is fast and free!

    All comments must follow the ModernMedicine Network community rules and terms of use, and will be moderated. ModernMedicine reserves the right to use the comments we receive, in whole or in part,in any medium. See also the Terms of Use, Privacy Policy and Community FAQ.

    • No comments available

    Optometry Times A/V