At Risk Patients: Refracting Case Study

You are a refracting optician and a patient walks into your practice asking for an “eye test” and that they are seeking a pair of new eyeglasses.

What do you do?

You inform the patient that:

  • you are an optician that can perform an automated refraction, also known as a sight test a sight test does not assess the health of their eyes and only assesses their vision there are strict guidelines to assure only healthy adults can have a sight test

You ask the patient to fill out a Client Notice form, which tells you information about:

  • Their age;
  • Their medical history, particularly if they are subject to ocular diseases;
  • When their last eye health exam was, and;
  • Their written consent.
  • The patient fills out the form and you review it. You notice that the patient is 64 years old.
Should you still sight test on them?


1. Have they had an eye health exam in the past 10 years?

2. Are they subject to or have a history of:

a. glaucoma, retinal detachment, macular degeneration or diplopia;

b. a prescription for corrective lenses containing prisms;

c. refractive error exceeding plus or minus 6.00 dioptres in either eye;

d. diabetes or hypertension;

e. recent head trauma;

f. injury or pain occurring to or in either eye within the previous 3 months;

g. any other condition, symptom or sign indicating a need for an eye health examination as set out in the standards, limits or conditions established by the  college for the practice of opticianry.

After asking a series of questions and getting the patient to go over the Client Notice form the patient indicates that they are at risk for diabetes. You decide that you’ll have to refer them to a prescriber since the patient is at risk for eye disease. You educate the patient about the importance of eye health examinations and that the patient can come back for glasses after getting checked up.