Researchers using data from the Blue Mountain Eye Study have identified a common genetic marker for elevated intraocular pressure. Published in Human Molecular Genetics online, “our study identified that 99% of people will have the variant on at least one strand of their DNA, while 77% will have it on both,” says lead investigator Ananth Viswanathan, MD, PhD. “We estimated that each copy of the variant increases the risk of developing glaucoma by 8%. In established glaucoma, each copy gives an extra 6% likelihood of significant visual loss.”

New legislation in Manitoba, Canada, expands the scope of practice to allow ODs in the province to prescribe and administer drugs to treat eye infections, glaucoma, uveitis, dry eye and ocular allergies. Qualified optometrists will also be able to remove superficial foreign bodies from the eye, order and receive screening and diagnostic tests, and work collaboratively with ophthalmologists to treat serious eye disease. 

Optometry school news:

  • The Accreditation Council on Optometric Education has granted accreditation to Western University of Health Sciences’ College of Optometry, retroactive to February 2013.
  • Jennifer Smythe, OD, MS, dean of Pacific University College of Optometry, has been elected president of the Association of Schools and Colleges of Optometry. She is the first woman to be elected president of the association.
  • Rod W. Nowakowski, OD, PhD, will retire as dean of the University of Alabama at Birmingham School of Optometry.