What did we do in 2017?
January 2, 2018
In January, Andrew attended the Global Specialty Lens Symposium in Las Vegas, Nevada. The GSLS is one of the world’s largest contact lens conferences and focuses on the successful management of ocular conditions using specialty contact lenses (rigid, mini-scleral, hybrids, and orthokeratology lenses). At the meeting Andrew also spoke to a number of contact lens companies, whose lens designs we now incorporate into our practice.
In March, Andrew took on a new role as Course Facilitator for the Specialist Certificate in the Management of Contact Lens Patients, offered through the University of Melbourne.
In June, Andrew participated as both a Clinical Demonstrator and Lecturer at the Mini Scleral Contact Lens Workshop, run through the Australian College of Optometry.
In October, Andrew had the opportunity to do some volunteer work, spending a week teaching at an Eye Hospital in Yangon, Myanmar. He was involved with an up-skilling program through Sight For All, an Australian-based charity that aims to improve access to eye care services to communities in Asia. Andrew spent a week with the local refractionists at the Yangon Eye Hospital, and was overwhelmed by their generosity and kindness.
Andrew was also a co-author on a couple of publications in the ophthalmic literature this year. In June, Andrew along with Richard, and ophthalmologist colleagues Ester Fernandez Lopex, Alex Poon and Catherine Green, published a case report entitled “Bilateral blebs secondary to spontaneous scleral perforations” in the Journal of Glaucoma http://journals.lww.com/glaucomajournal/Abstract/2017/06000/Bilateral_Blebs_Secondary_to_Spontaneous_Scleral.15.aspx.
In December, Andrew was a co-author with Richard and Jillian of a paper entitled “Find something new with a change in view: Axial versus Tangential maps” that was published in Optometry Australia’s Pharma magazine.
Throughout the year, Andrew also continued to provide Clinical Teaching to the optometry students each week in the University of Melbourne Eye Clinic, as he has now done for the last few years.
In April, Jillian was an invited speaker at the Australian Vision Convention on the Gold Coast, where she presented two lectures entitled “Paediatric aphakic contact lens fitting” and “Unusual contact lens cases”. This conference is held every year in Queensland with over 450 optometrists from around Australia participating in workshops, presentations and networking opportunities.
In May, Jillian attended the Southern Regional Congress (SRC). This is the biggest optometric conference in Australia and it is held each year in Melbourne. This year there were over 800 delegates who were treated to some excellent lectures from both local and overseas speakers. Jillian coincidentally was the session coordinator for Richards’s presentation and reported all delegates were listening intently.
In June, Jillian was also an invited speaker at North Queensland Vision conference in Cairns, where she presented on two topics including “Paediatric aphakic contact lens fitting” and ‘The management of corneal graft rejection and failure”. North Queensland Vision is held close to Jillian’s home town and is an intimate conference with delegates who attend from across Australia and New Zealand.
In July, Jillian gave a presentation for Optometry Australia to recent optometry graduates entitled “Making hard contact lenses easy”. In her lecture, Jillian covered many aspects of rigid contact lens fitting, including spherical, toric and keratoconic fitting.
In August, Jillian attended the Tasmania Lifestyle Congress which has a bit of a reputation for being a boutique conference with strong clinical content, complemented by an enjoyable social program, high quality Tasmanian food and wine, and excellent opportunities for delegates to meet exhibitors and try new equipment. Jillian particularly enjoyed the conference dinner which was held at Mona!
In October Jillian went to the Northern Territory with the Brien Holden Vision Institute and undertook eye testing in the remote aboriginal communities of Canteen Creek and Epenarra. These communities are approximately 210km south-east of Tennant Creek (120km of which is unsealed road). As such, access to the Community is variable, depending on weather conditions. The population is approximately 200 and these communities are serviced only by visiting health practitioners which only visit a few times per year.
In December, Jillian was a co-author with Richard and Andrew of a paper entitled “Find something new with a change in view: Axial versus Tangential maps” that was published in Optometry Australia’s Pharma magazine.
Jillian is also on a couple of committees which keeps her busy throughout the year. Early Career Optometry Victoria (ECOV) is a committee of Optometry Victoria that was formed in 2015 to provide further support, mentorship and ongoing education to Optometry Students and Optometrists who have graduated within ten years. Jillian is part of this committee which helps to organise regular events, career workshops, provide advice for professional development and networking opportunities for early career optometrists.
Jillian is also on the committee of the Victorian Chapter of the Cornea and Contact Lens Society of Australia (CCLSA). The CCLSA just recently celebrated its 50th anniversary and it is a group dedicated to improving the prescribing and fitting of contact lenses in Australia. The CCLSA encourages a sense of solidarity in the eye care industry by educating members, hosting conventions and lectures, and providing facilities for scientific research.
In May, Richard was an invited speaker at the Southern Regional Congress (SRC) in Melbourne where he presented a lecture entitled “Making the best use of silicone hydrogels in contact lens practice”.
In June, Richard spent a week in Cambodia doing volunteer work for Sight For All teaching contact lens fitting at the Khmer Soviet Friendship Hospital (KSFH) in Phnom Penh. Richard was mainly working with an extremely talented young ophthalmologist (Dr Kheng Sok) and he spent the time teaching Kheng and her associates about various types of contact lens fitting, including keratoconic and post-graft fitting, as well as contact lens management of infantile aphakia.
In September, Richard attended the 16th International Cornea & Contact Lens Conference (ICCLC) in Sydney. This is the biennial conference of the Cornea and Contact Lens Society of Australia (CCLSA) and it is without a doubt the biggest contact lens conference held in Australia. This year there were over 320 optometrists in attendance.
In November, Richard arranged for his colleague from Cambodia, Dr Kheng Sok, to spend a week at the practice. Kheng’s visit to Australia had been arranged by Sight For All and during her time here she was mainly based in Sydney where she was doing a Paediatric Fellowship. Richard could not let Kheng come all this way without her seeing Melbourne so he arranged for her to come down and visit in mid-November.
Richard was also busy this year writing papers and book chapters. As previously mentioned, he was a co-author with Andrew and others on the “Bilateral blebs secondary to spontaneous scleral perforations” case report that was published in the Journal of Glaucoma and he was a co-author with Andrew and Jillian on the paper entitled “Find something new with a change in view: Axial versus Tangential maps” that was published in Optometry Australia’s Pharma magazine.
Richard, along with Bruce Herbert and Regina Leung, published a case report in Clinical and Experimental Optometry (CXO) entitled “An oblique bitoric rigid contact lens fitting for the management of lens subluxation in Marfan syndrome”. This paper featured an interesting case where a patient had to be prescribed an oblique bitoric rigid contact lens to achieve optimal vision. This type of lens is rarely used and this was in fact only the second time in over 30 years of clinical practice that Richard had been required to fit this type of lens.
Richard published an invited paper in Contact Lens Spectrum entitled “A new angle on soft toric lenses” in which he outlined a novel method of ensuring that patients who were wearing soft toric lenses were given the appropriate correction.
Richard contributed three chapters – “Soft toric lens design and fitting”, Rigid toric lens design and fitting” and “Keratoconus” – to the new (third) edition of Professor Nathan Efron’s world renowned contact lens textbook “Contact Lens Practice”. Richard’s co-author on the Keratoconus chapter was Dr Laura Downie from the University of Melbourne, one of the leading contact lens academics in Australia.
Richard is an Associate Editor for the journal Clinical and Experimental Optometry – a role he has performed for almost 10 years – and in July Richard and his good friend and colleague Nathan Efron put together a special issue of the journal which was entirely devoted to contact lenses. There were many interesting papers in this special issue covering areas such as contact lens infection, dry eye and contact lenses, speciality contact lens fitting and novel uses of contact lenses (such as drug delivery, magnifiers for low vision patients, visual augmentation and biosensing). This special issue can be found at http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/cxo.2017.100.issue-5/issuetoc
As he done for many years now, Richard also presented some lectures to the optometry students at the University of Melbourne. This year he lectured to the students on topics such as “contact lens aftercare”, “paediatric contact lens fitting” and “contact lens fitting after post-refractive surgery”.