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Optometry Board Policy
Definition of Optometric Vision Therapy and/or Training

Optometric vision therapy and/or training is a treatment plan used to correct or improve specific dysfunctions of the vision system determined by standardized diagnostic criteria. Such dysfunctions include, but are not limited to, strabismus, amblyopia, and other deficiencies in binocularity, accommodation, ocular motor function and visual-perceptual-motor abilities. Treatment plans may encompass the use of lenses, prisms, occlusion and other appropriate materials, modalities and equipment.

 

As stated in R.C. 4725.01(A)(1), the practice of optometry means the application of optical principles, through technical methods and devices, in the examination of human eyes for the purpose of ascertaining departures from the normal, measuring their functional powers, adapting optical accessories for the aid thereof, and detecting ocular abnormalities that may be evidence of disease, pathology, or injury. Therefore, optometric vision therapy and/or vision training is the practice of optometry if it consists of the adaptation of optical aids and use of technical methods and/or devices for one of the purposes listed in R.C. 4725.01(A)(1).

Guidelines for Optometric Vision Therapy and/or Training

Under R.C. 4725.02(A), no person shall engage in the practice of optometry unless he or she has received a certificate of licensure from the Ohio State Board of Optometry and that certificate is in good standing.

 

Consequently, an individual not licensed as an optometrist under R.C. Chapter 4725 cannot practice vision therapy and/or vision training if such therapy or training involves, as stated in R.C. 4725.01(A)(1), the application of optical principles, through technical methods and devices, in the examination of human eyes for the purpose of ascertaining departures from the normal, measuring their functional powers, adapting optical accessories for the aid thereof, and detecting ocular abnormalities that may be evidence of disease, pathology, or injury." Once an individual licensed as an optometrist under R.C. Chapter 4725 conducts an examination of the visual system for one of these purposes, however, he or she may develop a treatment plan consisting of vision therapy and/or training and delegate implementation of the plan, by contract or otherwise, to an individual not licensed under R.C. Chapter 4725.

That individual may then conduct therapy sessions, provide instruction to patients on particular exercises, assist in the performance of exercises, and designate portions of the therapy or training to be performed by the patient outside of office therapy sessions. The unlicensed individual's activities cannot include the application of optical principles, through technical methods and devices, in the examination of human eyes for the purpose of ascertaining departures from the normal, measuring their functional powers, adapting optical accessories for the aid thereof, and detecting ocular abnormalities that may be evidence of disease, pathology, or injury."

If in accordance to these guidelines the unlicensed individual is not making a diagnosis but consulting with a licensed optometrist in providing vision training and/or therapy, they are not considered practicing optometry. If an Ohio licensed optometrist delegates the implementation of a vision therapy or training treatment plan to an unlicensed individual, the optometrist is still ultimately responsible for the patient. The optometrist's responsibilities to insure protection of the patient should include:

 

1) Formulate the proper diagnosis;
2) Specify the appropriate treatment program;
3) Determine the approximate length and closing point of therapy or training needed;
4) Periodically monitor and reevaluate the patient's progress; and
5) Verify that the individual to perform the vision therapy or training has demonstrated competency in these areas.

These guidelines are created for licensees who wish to engage in optometric vision therapy and/or training.

Adopted April 3, 1996