Diagnosing and treating glaucoma in Massachusetts

Massachusetts optometrists now treat individuals suffering from glaucoma. This law helps ease the burden of cost and access for people in need of treatment.


As the last state in the nation to pass such legislation, Massachusetts residents diagnosed with glaucoma are now treated directly by their optometrist and don’t have to schedule and pay for a specialist appointment. According to the Massachusetts Society for Optometrists, early diagnosis and management of glaucoma protects against a higher risk of vision loss or blindness, so the expanded scope of practice for optometrists has been a welcome change.

“Access and continuity of care are improved by having the diagnosis, follow-up, and treatment of glaucoma all with the same doctor,” states Dr. Gary Chu, OD, MPH, VP of Professional Affairs.

NECO doctors are fully trained in and skilled at treating glaucoma. We have trained optometry students for decades how to detect and treat glaucoma, with many NECO graduates going on to treat the condition around the world.

In fact, many graduates left Massachusetts to practice elsewhere because the restrictions against glaucoma treatment prevented them from fully meeting the needs of their patients. However, they now have the option of staying local to NECO.

This shift in legislation has allowed our doctors to practice a broader scope of care that they share with patients. Both our Commonwealth Ave and Roslindale clinic locations utilize optical coherence tomography imaging to better diagnose and treat glaucoma. NECO’s curriculum and clinical training has always prepared students to practice full scope optometry in any state. We are pleased that Massachusetts expanded provider privileges to best serve the needs of patients.