The Board of Examiners in Optometry Board Members The Board of Examiners in Optometry consists of five members appointed by the Governor: Four licensed practicing optometrists who have been residents at least three years; plus one public member. Members are appointed for staggered terms of four years. Members serve until they are replaced or resign. View Board Roster For information about becoming a board member, visit the Governor’s Boards and Commissions web page. Board Advisories Advisory 1. Mandatory PDMP/Opioid Education for Initial Licensure & Renewal for Current Licensees with valid DEA Registration Numbers. Effective July 1, 2018 All applicants for licensure that hold a valid DEA Registration number will need to provide proof of 2 hours of education completed within 2 years of the date of application in pain management and opioid use and addiction. Current licensees with a valid DEA Registration number must have completed at least two hours of education in pain management and opioid use and addiction, during the two years preceding the application for renewal. This education may be met by any course that meets 12 AAC 48.200 requirements and specifically includes pain management and opioid use and addiction. Advisory 2. Mandatory Registration with Alaska Prescription Drug Monitoring Program (PDMP) Statutory Authority: AS 08.72.060/AS 17.30.200 Implemented: June 2016 The Alaska Board of Examiners in Optometry reminds all licensed practitioners possessing a Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) number that they must be registered with the Alaska Prescription Drug Monitoring Program database (PDMP), available through the Alaska Pharmacy Board website. This registration must occur no later than July 17, 2017 or within 30 days of being issued a DEA number. Alaska Prescription Drug Monitoring Program (PDMP) Additionally, to comply with the rules set forth in AS 17.30.200(k), a practitioner is required to review the database PRIOR to prescribing a Schedule II or Schedule III controlled substance, except in those instances as detailed in AS 17.30.200(k). Advisory 3. Scope of Practice The Board of Examiners in Optometry reminds all licensees and future licensees that the scope of practice in Alaska currently remains unchanged following enactment of CSHB103(FIN). The process of regulation change governing the practice of optometry in the state of Alaska is well-defined and the Board of Examiners in Optometry is actively and judiciously developing appropriate regulatory changes regarding uniform standards for the practice of optometry, advisory opinions regarding optometry practice procedures and policies, and limitations on practice under the authority granted by AS 08.72.050, 08.72.060, AS 08.72.240, AS 08.72.272, AS 08.72.276 and AS 08.72.278. Advisory 4. Nontopical Therapeutic Injections Course for initial licensure by CREDENTIALS Statutory Authority: AS 08.72.140 / AS 08.72.170 Implemented: November 2012 For applicants who are presently credentialed in another state: Education typically should include seven hours of training and/or instruction regarding injections; such training typically includes these topics: intravenous, subconjunctival, subcutaneous, intralesional, infiltrative anesthesia, nerve block, and intramuscular injections & applications. Applicants who have successfully passed the ISE portion of the NBEO Exam Part III will typically meet the requirement of AS 08.72.140(4)(C). Advisory 5. Nontopical Therapeutic Injections Education for Continuing Education Requirements Statutory Authority: AS 08.72.181 Regulatory Authority: 12 AAC 48.210(d)(2) Implemented: November 2012 For current licensees seeking continuing education: Education typically should include seven hours of training and/or instruction regarding injections; such training typically includes these topics: intravenous, subconjunctival, subcutaneous, intralesional, infiltrative anesthesia, nerve block, and intramuscular injections & applications. In most cases, courses that meet this requirement will include “injections” in the course title or description. Online injections courses may be approved by the Board with prior submission to the Board along with a copy of the syllabus and/or course outline. Please submit this information in accordance with 12 AAC 48.200(c). Online courses should not represent all seven hours of injections continuing education. Advisory 6. Risks & concerns with colored or cosmetic contact lenses (non-prescription) Statutory Authority: AS 08.72.060(b)(2); AS 08.72.240(5) Implemented: April 19, 2013 The Board feels that the citizens of Alaska should be made aware of the dangers of using non-prescription contact lenses for cosmetic reasons. The Board is issuing this Advisory Opinion as a means of education rather than punitive or regulatory action as the use and sale of colored contact lenses is regulated by the FDA. Prescription contact lenses are regulated for public safety to ensure proper care of one’s eye. Non- prescription cosmetic contact lenses may not fit the eye properly, nor is there consistency in the type of material used. Contacts are designed with specific parameters to fit your eyes properly and non-prescription cosmetic lenses may not come with these parameters. If you purchase a contact lens over the counter without these safeguards, you could put your eyes at risk. (Public law 109-96 section 520(n)) When cosmetic/colored contacts are bought and used without a valid prescription, without the involvement of a qualified eye care professional (optometrist, ophthalmologist, or dispensing optician), or without appropriate follow-up care, it can lead to significant risks of eye injuries, including blindness. Purchasing cosmetic contact lenses from beauty salons, novelty stores, video stores, flea markets, convenience stores, and online sales without proper fitting is considered unsafe by the Board. Also, it is illegal without a valid prescription under federal law (Public law 109-96 section 520(n)). You should only purchase cosmetic or colored contact lenses from a licensed practitioner (optometrist, ophthalmologist, or dispensing optician). Wearing any kind of contact lenses, including decorative ones, can cause serious damage to your eyes if the lenses are not used correctly. These risks include: A cut or scratch on the top layer of your eyeball (Corneal Abrasion) Allergic reactions like itchy, watery red eyes Decreased vision Infection Blindness Corneal scarring & neovascularization When wearing any type of contact lenses, be aware of signs of possible eye infection, which include: Redness and/or discharge Pain in the eye(s) that doesn't go away after a short period of time Decreased vision If you have any of these signs, you need to see a licensed eye doctor (optometrist or ophthalmologist) right away! An eye infection could become serious and cause blindness if not treated promptly.