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65-1501. Practice of optometry defined; exclusions; standard of care in diagnosis and treatment of glaucoma; low vision rehabilitation services. (a) The practice of optometry means:

(1) The examination of the human eye and its adnexae and the employment of objective or subjective means or methods (including the administering, prescribing or dispensing, of topical pharmaceutical drugs) for the purpose of diagnosing the refractive, muscular, or pathological condition thereof;

(2) the prescribing, dispensing or adapting of lenses (including any ophthalmic lenses which are classified as drugs by any law of the United States or of this state), prisms, low vision rehabilitation services, orthoptic exercises and visual training therapy for the relief of any insufficiencies or abnormal conditions of the human eye and its adnexae; and

(3) the prescribing, administering or dispensing of topical pharmaceutical drugs and oral drugs for the examination, diagnosis and treatment of ocular conditions and any insufficiencies or abnormal conditions of the human eye and its adnexae including adult open-angle glaucoma.

(b) The practice of optometry shall not include: (1) The management and treatment of glaucoma, except as provided in subsection (a); (2) the performance of surgery, including the use of lasers for surgical purposes, except that licensees may remove non-perforating foreign bodies from the cornea, conjunctiva or eyelids; remove eyelashes; scrape the cornea for diagnostic tests, smears or cultures; dilate, probe, irrigate or close by punctal plug the tear drainage structures of the eye; express conjunctival follicles or cysts; debridement of the corneal epithelium and co-management of post-operative care; or (3) the performance of procedures requiring anesthesia administered by injection or general anesthesia.

(c) A licensee shall be held to a standard of care in the diagnosis and treatment of adult open-angle glaucoma commensurate to that of a person licensed to practice medicine and surgery, who exercises that degree of skill and proficiency commonly exercised by an ordinary, skillful, careful and prudent person licensed to practice medicine and surgery.

(d) Under the direction and supervision of a licensee, a licensed professional nurse, licensed practical nurse, licensed physical therapist and licensed occupational therapist may assist in the provision of low vision rehabilitation services in addition to such other services which such licensed professional nurse, licensed practical nurse, licensed physical therapist and licensed occupational therapist is authorized by law to provide under subsection (d) of K.S.A. 65-1113, subsection (h) of K.S.A. 65-1124, subsection (b) of K.S.A. 65-2901 and subsection (b) of K.S.A. 65-5402, and amendments thereto.

History: L. 1923, ch. 220, § 1; R.S. 1923, 65-1501; L. 1977, ch. 216, § 1; L. 1987, ch. 235, § 1; L. 1996, ch. 95, § 1; L. 1999, ch. 23, § 1; L. 2002, ch. 203, § 16; L. 2003, ch. 128, § 22; L. 2010, ch. 31, § 1; L. 2012, ch. 8, § 1; July 1.

Source or Prior Law:

L. 1909, ch. 229, § 1.

Law Review and Bar Journal References:

"Physician's Assistant and Nurse Practitioner Laws: A Study of Health Law Reform," Philip C. Kissam, 24 K.L.R. 1, 4 (1975).

Attorney General's Opinions:

Practice of optometry; opticians fitting contact lenses. 88-169.


1. Corporation cannot engage directly or indirectly in practice of optometry. State, ex rel., v. Goldman Jewelry Co., 142 Kan. 881, 883, 51 P.2d 995.

2. Cited; city ordinance regulating barbers in conflict with state law held invalid. Trimble v. City of Topeka, 147 Kan. 111, 116, 75 P.2d 241.

3. Act cited in distinguishing practicing of medicine and surgery and osteopathy. State, ex rel., v. Gleason, 148 Kan. 1, 9, 79 P.2d 911. Rehearing denied: 148 Kan. 458, 84 P.2d 48. Opinion on post-decision motions: 148 Kan. 459, 83 P.2d 425.

4. Corporation ousted in quo warranto proceedings from practice of optometry. State, ex rel., v. Zale Jewelry Co., 179 Kan. 628, 298 P.2d 283.

5. Chapter 74, article 15 and chapter 65, article 15 construed as single act. Marks v. Frantz, 179 Kan. 638, 643, 644, 298 P.2d 316.

6. Order revoking license upheld; rules for determination of legality of order stated. Marks v. Frantz, 183 Kan. 47, 48, 325 P.2d 368.

7. Charges brought hereunder; court held no violation of statutory provision concerning practice of optometry. State, ex rel., v. Doolin & Shaw, 209 Kan. 244, 256, 259, 497 P.2d 138.

8. Kansas Optometric Act does not preclude action brought under Kansas consumer protection act. Skeet v. Sears, Roebuck & Co., 760 F. Supp. 872, 876 (1991).

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