- Associated Press - Tuesday, May 16, 2017

BOSTON (AP) - A legislative proposal would allow optometrists in Massachusetts to treat glaucoma and prescribe oral medications for eye infections.

The provision was attached as an outside section in a $40.3 billion state budget unveiled Tuesday by the Senate Ways and Means Committee.

While optometrists can diagnose glaucoma, Massachusetts is the only state that does not allow them to administer treatment for the condition or to write prescriptions for eye infections.

Patients must instead go to ophthalmologists to receive that care.

Those backing a change say every college of optometry in the nation, including two in Massachusetts, train students to treat eye diseases including glaucoma.

The budget must still pass the full Senate and be reconciled with an earlier version passed by the House, which did not include the optometrist language.

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