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RULE §279.1Contact Lens Examination

(a) The optometrist or therapeutic optometrist shall, in the initial examination of the patient for whom contact lenses are prescribed:

  (1) Personally make and record, if possible, the following findings of the conditions of the patient as required by §351.353 of the Act:

    (A) biomicroscopy examination (lids, cornea, sclera, etc.), using a binocular microscope;

    (B) internal ophthalmoscopic examination (media, fundus, etc.), using an ophthalmoscope or biomicroscope with fundus condensing lenses; videos and photographs may be used only for documentation and consultation purposes but do not fulfill the internal ophthalmoscopic examination requirement; and

    (C) subjective findings, far point and near point;

  (2) Either personally make and record or authorize an assistant present in the same office with the optometrist or therapeutic optometrist to make and record the following findings required by §351.353 of the Act. The authorization for assistants to make and record the following findings does not relieve the optometrist or therapeutic optometrist of professional responsibility for the proper examination and recording of each finding required by §351.353 of the Act:

    (A) case history (ocular, physical, occupational, and other pertinent information);

    (B) visual acuity;

    (C) static retinoscopy O.D., O.S., or autorefractor;

    (D) assessment of binocular function;

    (E) amplitude or range of accommodation;

    (F) tonometry; and

    (G) angle of vision, to right and to left.

  (3) Personally notate in the patient's record the reasons why it is not possible to make and record the findings required in subsection (a) of this section;

  (4) When a follow-up visit is medically indicated, schedule the follow-up visit within 30 days of the contact lens fitting, and inform the patient on the initial visit regarding the necessity for the follow-up care; and

  (5) Personally or authorize an assistant to instruct the patient in the proper care of lenses.

(b) The optometrist or therapeutic optometrist and assistants shall observe proper hygiene in the handling and dispensing of the contact lenses and in the conduct of the examination. Proper hygiene includes sanitary office conditions, running water in the office where contact lenses are dispensed, and proper sterilization of diagnostic lenses and instruments.

(c) The fitting of contact lenses may be performed only by a licensed physician, optometrist, or therapeutic optometrist. Ophthalmic dispensers may make mechanical adjustments to contact lenses and dispense contact lenses only after receipt of a fully written contact lens prescription from a licensed optometrist, therapeutic optometrist, or a licensed physician. An ophthalmic dispenser shall make no measurement of the eye or the cornea or evaluate the physical fit of the contact lenses, by any means whatever, subject solely and only to the exception contained in the §351.005 of the Act.

(d) The willful or repeated failure or refusal of an optometrist or therapeutic optometrist to comply with any of the requirements in the Act, §351.353 and §351.359, shall be considered by the board to constitute prima facie evidence that the licensee is unfit or incompetent by reason of negligence within the meaning of the Act, §351.501(a)(2), and shall be sufficient ground for the filing of charges to cancel, revoke, or suspend the license. The charges shall state the specific instances in which it is alleged that the rule was not complied with. After the board has produced evidence of the omission of a finding required by §351.353, the burden shifts to the licensee to establish that the making and recording of the findings was not possible.

Source Note: The provisions of this §279.1 adopted to be effective September 9, 2001, 26 TexReg 6679

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