Ian has been appointed to the College of Optometrist’s Clinical Management Guideline advisory board.
The College of Optometrists has gathered together a range of experts in therapeutics (treatment of eye disease with medication) to help them redraft and improve their clinical management guidelines. These are bullet point summary sheets advising optometrists on how and when to treat various eye conditions and are a valuable resource to optometrists at the coal face in a busy clinic.
Ian was picked to bring some front line experience to the group and advise on where these guidelines can be streamlined and enhanced to make them more useful in daily therapeutic practice.
Ian and Gillian are amongst a small group of fully qualified therapeutic optometrists in the UK making Cameron Optometry perhaps the only practice with more than one such qualified practitioner in the country.
Despite my best efforts to make monthly training interesting, I was easily trumped this month by Reese and Sandy from Guide Dogs.
They kindly brought along Pamela Munro, the community engagement officer for Edinburgh, who gave us a fascinating insight into the work of the Guide Dogs charity. The session included simulation of common eye conditions, and a discussion on the best way to guide visually impaired people. We all realised the common pitfalls that we can fall into when we guide people, even in the practice.
You can download the Guiding leaflet here to learn how to do it properly.
And for you visual learners, here’s a useful video.
We were all interested to find out about who is suitable for a guide dog. Learning that a person doesn’t have to be registered as blind, there are no age restrictions, and they don’t need to be referred from a GP or optometrist.
Many Thanks to Pamela and her team for their time and effort. We look forward to seeing them back in the practice for a practical guiding session soon!
Both Ian and Gillian have been lecturing to other optometrists about eyelid disease. Our advanced qualifications in eye disease and its treatment (the ‘DipTP(IP)’ after Ian and Gillian’s name) means we see a lot and know a lot about all types of eye disease including eyelids.
The eyelids form a key part of a healthy visual system and are because they are constantly on the move and exposed to the elements are prone to a whole host of conditions, some serious some benign.
Gillian spoke at the York Local Optical Society and Ian at Optometry Tomorrow, the annual conference of the College of Optometrists. Feedback was positive and a number of the audience said they now properly understood eyelids and their management for the first time in their career.
It’s a complex business so if you’ve got problems with your eyes or eyelids, come and see and expert.
Both Ian & Gillian have been lecturing on Blepharitis and Eyelid Disease recently and some of the audience have been interested in our Lid Health Management Plan. You can download it below.
Lid Health Management Plan
Last week was a busy one as the optometry team were guests at the Centre for Sight in East Grinstead, for their 2013 optometry education day. The private eye clinic is run by Mr Sheraz Daya.
This pioneering eye surgeon performed the first laser vision correction procedure (LASIK) in the UK in 1995. He has since developed a number of surgical techniques and has been involved in the area of Stem Cell Transplantation and tissue engineering. He is the surgeon responsible for performing the stem cell graft that has started to improve the vision of Katie Piper, the model who was left blind in one eye after an acid attack. Mr. Daya has also invented a series of innovative ophthalmic instruments for use in Corneal Transplantation, Collagen Cross Linking (CXL), Laser refractive Surgery and more recently femtosecond laser cataract surgery. He has devised a new technique called “Trans-lens Hydrodissection” which enables easy removal of the lens during laser cataract and lens surgery We heard lectures from the resident surgeons at the clinic.
Talking on the most recent developments in corneal, laser refractive, and cataract surgery. We also heard from a guest lecturer on treatments for retinal eye disease and keratoconus. A highlight of the day was watching Mr Daya perform live cataract surgery. The last time I scrubbed in to see cataract surgery was as a pre-registration optometrist at Ninewells hospital – how things have changed! The state of the art laser which Mr Daya also uses to perform “blade free” laser corrective surgery was used to do some of the most complex parts of the procedure. The highly accurate laser made precise incisions in the lens of the eye, while Mr Daya sat back and watched. This part of the surgery now being “hands free”. The introduction of this type of laser makes recovery times for the patients as little as just a couple of hours.
Other surgical advances included implantable contact lenses in single vision, toric and multifocal forms for correction of long and short sight, astigmatism and presbyopia. Visiting the centre for ourselves and discussing the procedures with the people who perform and develop them really impressed on the us the improvements being made in the field of ocular surgery.
It was a long day and a lot of travel but we believe it is vital for our optometrists to get the very latest information on surgery so that we can advise our patients better on treatment options.
Many of us, myself included, take vitamins and supplements as part of our daily quest for a healthier lifestyle. Why are they good for us though, and which ones should we take to improve the health of our eyes?
Omega-3 essential fatty acids (EFAs) are essential nutrients which our bodies cannot make or store. Current research suggests they offer many health benefits such as reducing blood pressure, protection from heart disease, improving cognitive function in Alzheimer’s, and protecting our bones and joints.
If you suffer from dry-eye you will be pleased to learn that the properties of Omega-3 can help you too. They have anti inflammatory properties that reduce the uncomfortable symptoms of dry eye, as well as improving the quality of the tear film. Research also suggests that a daily dose may reduce the risk of wet AMD and play a role in prevention of cataract.
The two critical Omega-3 EFAs are EPA and DHA . You will see them listed on the back of your supplement bottle. The best sources of these Omega-3 EFAs are oily fish and fish oil supplements and they supply the preferred Omega-3 EPA and DHA that the body can most readily use. Flaxseed, found in nuts and dark leafy vegetables will also provide Omega-3, but not in the form that is most readily converted by the body.
Our typical British diets of processed foods tend to have the wrong balance of EFA’s, having more Omega-6 than 3. While Omega-3 reduces inflammation, Omega-6 can cause inflammation. These 2 fatty acids compete for the same space in our body, so I would suggest you avoid supplements that provide both and opt only for Omega-3 fish oils. Supplements can be found readily in supermarkets and health food shops in both tablet and liquid form. Otherwise, embracing the Mediterranean lifestyle of a diet rich in unprocessed oils and oily fish should do the trick (and some more Meditarranean weather would help too I reckon). Please contact the practice if you would like any further advice.
The Keratoconus Group is resourcing and self help group for people with keratoconus. Cameron Optometry has long been a supporter and we have often travelled to Glasgow to attend and speak at meetings.
With Ian’s help an Edinburgh based group was set up and has just had it’s second meeting here at the practice. Ian spoke about the latest advances in contact lenses and answered all sorts of questions about keratoconus.
They hope to run another meeting on another topic in Spring and we’ll keep you updated here. If you are interested in keratoconus or have the condition, you should join the group online at www.keratoconus-group.org.uk
I kid you not, this is the weather in Phoenix. It’s hard to beleive it is almost November – I dread to think what it’s like here in summer. In fact it’s hard to believe it’s on the same planet heated by the same sun. Fortunately for my patients (unfortunately for my tan), I’ve been inside all day in darkened rooms listening to eye lectures.
More retinal stuff this morning, but at a much more civilised 10am (I managed to sleep until 7.30 today which means I’m finally getting into Phoenix time with only 2 days left). It was titled ‘Things you don’t want to miss’ and included some quite scary case histories – always good to stop you being complacent. That was 2 hours long so a break for lunch before more on optic nerves where the focus was on differentiating between glaucoma and other types of optic nerve disease. Interesting and useful but 2 hours felt like 4.
To round out the day I spent some time looking at epiretinal membranes (ERM) which are areas of thickening on the retina that can impair vision (kind of like hard skin on the back of the eye). They are quite common and we use the OCT to find see them and monitor them. Many of you will have these in your eyes that we may have told you about. I’m not quite sure we got the whole story about them, the lecturer seemed to miss out some things that I think are quite important when talking about ERM and said some things that I’m not sure are quite 100% correct. Nonetheless, some useful points to bring back.
I went to the supermarket for a few bits and bobs and ‘went native’ by buying some Twinkies. If you don’t know what they are, they are one of the least natural food products you can possibly imagine – however I quite like them and it made me feel very American to buy them. I blended right in with my pasty skin and funny accent…
PS. My wife tells me it’s snowing in parts of Edinburgh which is frankly impossible to comprehend in this heat.
If you love eyes, AAO is like Nirvana. Is your chance to be as nerdy as you like about eyes and no one thinks you’re weird or boring!
I only made it to 4am before I was wide awake but fortunately had a 7.15am start with a breakfast meeting about contact lenses and happy patients. It was OK but I wasn’t inspired to be honest.
Things improved as the day took a decidedly geek turn with a whole hour devoted to the the vitreous humour (of course the Yanks spell it incorrectly). For those of you casting your mind back to A-Level biology the vitreous is clear the jelly like substance that fills most of the eye ball and is 99% water. How can you talk for an hour about a transparent bag of gel that’s 99% water I hear you ask? Well you can and it’s fascinating.
If any of you have experienced flashes and floaters then you may have had a PVD which we talked about in some detail. There is even hope for a new treatment for problems associated with PVD and a possible cure for floaters. This new wonder drug comes out in the US in 2013, so we’ll have to see how long it takes to come to the UK.
Then I had an excellent summary of the latest lenses for keratoconus. We’re pretty much at the leading edge of keratoconus in the UK and so there wasn’t too much new here but there are a couple of new designs coming out this year which sound quite exciting and now I know how to fit them, it should give us a running start when the arrive in the UK.
The afternoon was a bit of binocular vision (how the eyes work together as a pair) and a very interesting discussion of the value of OCT in Glaucoma and other optic nerve analysis. The OCT is scanner that we will have used on you if you’ve come in for an eye exam in the last year or 2.
I’m such a party animal I stayed up until 8pm before crashing out!
1 hour to London and then 10 hours to Phoenix. It’s a long way to travel but if you are serious about getting access to the best optometry education in the world, it’s got to be America and it’s got to be the AAO, which this year comes to Phoenix.
It’s my first time in Phoenix and actually my first time at the AAO. I’ve been to other American optometry meetings which have been fantastic but already I think the AAO is the best one yet.
There are about 5000 optometrists here from all over the world (there are only about 1000 optometrists in the whole of Scotland) and there are 10 streams of lectures every day given you a massive choice of things to listen to. The scale of place is big even by American standards and because of its size, it attracts some real experts in very detailed sub specialities we just don’t have in the UK.
As you can imagine it is a big investment for a small business when you include time away, travel and accommodation but at CamOpt we are dedicated to being the highest qualified and most experienced optometrists in the UK and that means this is the place we need to come to hear what’s new.
As always in America early starts are the order of the day so it’s 7.15am for a breakfast meeting on contact lenses to get me up and away. No big deal as Phoenix is 8 hours ahead I expect I’ll be up at 5am twiddling my thumbs anyway.