Code of Virginia

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Code of Virginia
Title 54.1. Professions and Occupations
Chapter 32. Optometry

§ 54.1-3201. What constitutes practice of optometry.

A. The practice of optometry includes:

1. Examination of the human eye to ascertain the presence of defects or abnormal conditions that may be corrected or relieved by the use of lenses, prisms or ocular exercises, or visual training or orthoptics and the prescribing or adapting of lenses, prisms or ocular exercises, or visual training or orthoptics for the correction, relief, remediation, or prevention of such conditions;

2. Employment of any subjective or objective mechanism to determine the accommodative or refractive states of the human eye or range or power of vision of the human eye;

3. Use of testing appliances for the purpose of the measurement of the powers of vision;

4. Examination, diagnosis, and optometric treatment in accordance with this chapter of conditions and visual or muscular anomalies of the human eye;

5. Evaluation, examination, diagnosis, and treatment of abnormal or diseased conditions of the human eye and its adnexa by the use of medically recognized and appropriate devices, procedures, or technologies;

6. Preoperative and postoperative care related to the human eye and adnexa; and

7. Use of diagnostic pharmaceutical agents set forth in § 54.1-3221.

B. Except as provided in §§ 54.1-3222 and 54.1-3225, the practice of optometry does not include treatment through:

1. Surgery, including:

a. Retina laser procedures; laser procedures into the vitreous chamber of the eye to treat vitreous, retinal, or macular disease; laser in situ keratomileusis and photorefractive keratectomy eye surgery; or other laser surgery;

b. Penetrating keratoplasty and corneal transplants;

c. Surgery (i) related to removal of the eye; (ii) requiring a full-thickness incision or excision of the cornea or sclera; (iii) requiring physical incision of the iris and ciliary body, including the diathermy, and cryotherapy; (iv) requiring incision of the vitreous humor or retina; (v) requiring full-thickness conjunctivoplasty with a graft or flap; (vi) of the eyelid for incisional cosmetic or functional repair, or blepharochalasis, ptosis, or tarsorrhaphy treatment; (vii) of the bony orbit, including orbital implants; (viii) requiring surgical extraction of the crystalline lens; or (ix) requiring surgical anterior or posterior chamber intraocular implants; or

d. Incisional or excisional surgery of the (i) extraocular muscles; (ii) lacrimal system, other than probing or related procedures; or (iii) pterygium surgery;

2. Cryotherapy of the ciliary body;

3. Iodizing radiation;

4. The use of injections, including venipuncture and intravenous injections;

5. Administration of or surgery using general anesthesia; or

6. Other invasive modalities.

C. An optometrist may (i) treat certain diseases or abnormal conditions of the human eye and its adnexa with certain therapeutic pharmaceutical agents as permitted under this chapter and (ii) administer intramuscular epinephrine for the treatment of emergency cases of anaphylactic shock.

D. Any person who in any way advertises himself as an optometrist or uses the title of doctor of optometry (O.D.) or any other letters or title in connection with his name which in any way conveys the impression that he is engaged in the practice of optometry shall be deemed to be practicing optometry within the meaning of this chapter.

Code 1950, § 54-368; 1988, cc. 243, 737, 765; 2022, cc. 16, 17.

The chapters of the acts of assembly referenced in the historical citation at the end of this section may not constitute a comprehensive list of such chapters and may exclude chapters whose provisions have expired.