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Laser Surgery Perfection (from QuietGuy's Post)

RLK

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    As QuietGuy posted,

    What's going to happen to optometry when scientists finally perfect laser surgery?


    I wanted to post that as the main topic because that was something I was wondering about too. Even if it's never perfected or 100% of the people don't get it, will enough people get laser surgery in the future to hurt the optometry business...or is this something that might not occur for a long long time? What do you think about this?
     

    scraders

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      i'm assuming that you are referring to refractive laser surgery (lasik).

      even if 100% of the population gets refractive laser surgery, everyone will still need their primary eyecare doctor "to examine, diagnose, treat and manage diseases and disorders of their eyes and associated structures, as well as diagnose related systemic conditions" (AOA). optometry is much more than prescribing contacts and eyeglasees, contrary to popular belief. so i wouldn't worry too much about that area of an optometric practice.

      however, it will probably negatively affect the sales of corrective lenses. depending on how much a practice depends on these sales, it will hurt some more than others.

      i honestly don't expect to see a large percentage of the population getting refractive surgery though. (1) it's still kinda expensive, (2) the thought of surgery scares people, (3) not everyone is eligible for the procedure, and (4) people might opt for the "safer alternative" ortho-k (which is performed by ODs). there are probably more reasons that dissuade people from getting this type of surgery, but these are a few that come to mind.
       
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      jefguth

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        would more lasik not create more potential work for OD's? I mean there is all the pre and post operative care that has to happend, and people will still need their annual or biannual eye exams...their refraction will continue to change despite laser surgery!
         

        jmonte

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          The same thing happened when contacts came out. They thought that noone would want glasses anymore yet they are still around. Also, refractive surgery patients will still need pre and post operative care. In addition, practically everyone will be a presbyope someday, and refractive surgery cannot fix that. Refractive surgery is not going to hurt optometry. How it becomes integrated into the field is something I am curious about.
           

          rpie

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            Nanoosa7 said:
            Excellent question....i was wondering the exact same thing!

            Also, is it true that optometrists will start to do the laser eye surgeries in the near future or is that a rumor?

            LASIK and PRK is one of many turf wars that is being fought between OD’s and OMD’s. As far as laser procedures becoming part of OD’s scope of practice depends on states Optometric associations. The members decide on either going after it in the legislature or not. This is the reason I feel that all OD’s should support their local Optometric associations, when in school and after graduation, to help develop and guide what Optometry is, and what it will become in the future.

            In Oklahoma OD’s has laser privileges, and TX is trying to amplify their scope of practice to include laser procedures. New Mexico lost the fight this year but will probably try again at some time.
             

            Ning

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              Hey,

              I've asked several ODs about this and they say that it really shouldn't affect the profession too much.
              1) As others have mentioned before, it's not 100% so people are scared to do it. 2) The cost factor.
              3) People still need pre-op and post-op examinations.
              4) Although you may have perfect vision afterwards, many people's vision decrease after a while, -1.00 or -2.00. Thus, they still need glasses...just not as thick!
              5) People will still experience the diseases and conditions that come along with aging.

              Ning-Ju
               

              FutureIrishOD

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                rpie said:
                LASIK and PRK is one of many turf wars that is being fought between OD’s and OMD’s. As far as laser procedures becoming part of OD’s scope of practice depends on states Optometric associations. The members decide on either going after it in the legislature or not. This is the reason I feel that all OD’s should support their local Optometric associations, when in school and after graduation, to help develop and guide what Optometry is, and what it will become in the future.

                In Oklahoma OD’s has laser privileges, and TX is trying to amplify their scope of practice to include laser procedures. New Mexico lost the fight this year but will probably try again at some time.

                The Texas bill never left committee before the end of the session, so it will be another 2 years before it comes up again. The TX bill ended up taking out lasers, but allowed optometrists more drugs and reclassified some procedures, so they would not be consisder surgeries. Both sides (for the most part) agreed on it. But how much optometry changes in your state will depend on how active you are with your state governments. I think the national associations needs to help all the states to get to the same scope of practice. So as long as optometrists are open for change and fight for it, optometry will always be around.
                 

                rpie

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                  FutureIrishOD said:
                  The Texas bill never left committee before the end of the session, so it will be another 2 years before it comes up again. The TX bill ended up taking out lasers, but allowed optometrists more drugs and reclassified some procedures, so they would not be consisder surgeries. Both sides (for the most part) agreed on it. But how much optometry changes in your state will depend on how active you are with your state governments. I think the national associations needs to help all the states to get to the same scope of practice. So as long as optometrists are open for change and fight for it, optometry will always be around.


                  I agree there should be a more uniform scope of practice. Having the AOA getting involved depends on the AOA members. This is why the importance of joining and becoming active in your state Optometric association because if you join your state association you automatically become an active member of the AOA.
                   
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