Western Eye Specialists hosted its September Optometry Education Event at Bacash Restaurant in South Yarra. The night focused on new and upcoming procedures, technology and even intra-vitreal (eye) injections.
Dr Phil Hoffman began the night by discussing ‘The future of anti- VEGF’. These are injections into eye that combat leaking fluid at the retina, due to conditions like Age related Macular Degeneration or Diabetic Macular Oedema. These injections are already widely used throughout ophthalmology clinics; however Dr Hoffman spoke of a new injection set to be released next year, which according to data will reduce the frequency of injections while still maintaining its efficacy.
Shifting the focus to a paediatric condition, Dr Ye Chen covered the management and possible surgical procedures for the condition known as Epiblepharon. Epiblepharon is when the lower eyelid muscle and skin ride above the eyelid margin, creating an abnormal horizontal fold of skin. This causes the eyelashes to be directed back towards the cornea (front surface of the eye). This can cause irritating, rubbing, astigmatism or even scarring. Dr Chen discussed the different surgical techniques available and the clinical indications of each. He also spoke of his experience in South Korea, learning from an ophthalmologist who pioneered one of the methods.
Discussing a range of new and exciting topics was Dr Andrew Shaw, covering ‘What’s new in Retina’. Dr Shaw began by explaining a new type of non-invasive retinal scan, called OCT Angiography, which is able to take images of the microvasculature of the retina. Other areas on the horizon include stem cell and gene therapy for inherited diseases. A new innovation in vitreo- retinal surgery is the ‘Heads Up Display’. This allows surgeons to watch a 3D monitor in front of them rather than looking through a microscope to perform surgery. The role of artificial intelligence and robotics is also increasing in ophthalmology. It is beginning to make an appearance in screening and even performing surgeries.
The night was highly informative and provided the optometrists with further knowledge for their future clinical practice.
Thank you to all those attended and to our sponsor Novartis Pharmaceuticals for supporting this fantastic event.