The Ocular Therapeutics Handbook was first published in 1998 and is now in its third edition. New features in the third edition include colour images of clinical conditions, an expanded chapter on laboratory tests and procedures, a chapter on neuro‐rehabilitation and low vision, rapid review chapters of clinical presentations and an update of systemic medications. It covers a broad range of ocular conditions, uses a problem‐oriented approach and includes numerous relevant and up‐to‐date websites.
A particularly good feature of the Ocular Therapeutics Handbook is the numerous very clearly presented reference tables. Chapter 1, Ocular Microbiology, consists almost entirely of tables enabling a lot of information to be accessed easily. It is useful for non‐US practitioners that chloramphenicol is included in Table 1–10 ‘Antibiotic susceptibility’. Tables, diagrams and colour photographs are strategically placed throughout the book and greatly enhance ease of use.
The Ocular Therapeutics Handbook has some aspects that are US specific; however, used in conjunction with a local guide to available medications (for example, MIMs or the Australian Medicines Handbook for Australian readers), it is an excellent reference for international practitioners. The Australian‐based publication Anterior Eye Disease and Therapeutics A–Z by Bruce and Loughnan, now in its second edition and published in 2011, would also be an appropriate companion reference.
Therapeutic practice and an enhanced primary care role for optometrists in Australia and New Zealand is rapidly advancing. All schools of optometry in Australia and New Zealand now include ocular therapeutics, so that all new graduates from 2013 will be eligible for endorsement as scheduled medicines prescribers. The Ocular Therapeutics Handbook is highly recommended for all primary eye care practitioners to assist them to continue to provide appropriate eye care to the community.