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HomemieventsTHE 7TH CONGRESS OF THE Orthokeratology Society of Oceania (OSO)

THE 7TH CONGRESS OF THE Orthokeratology Society of Oceania (OSO)

The seventh Congress of the Orthokeratology Society of Oceania (OSO) was held at Palm Meadows, Queensland late last year. We shed some light on the forum’s positive outcomes.

I have to commend the organisers of this year’s event, for it’s been a long time since I have attended such an inspirational as well as entertaining conference. Suitable for optometrists starting out in orthokeratology (OK) as well as experienced practitioners, a talented group of international and local speakers presented exciting, up to the minute, scientific findings and clinical experience.

Pre-fitting and Post-fitting

Current estimates reveal there are approximately 120 optometrists fitting orthokeratology (OK) lenses and 3160 wearers of this modality in Oceania.

Pat Caroline and Randy Kojima initiated the day’s proceedings with a comprehensive overview of prefitting considerations and post-fitting experiences. This included an overview of the importance of quality corneal topography maps with hints on how to ensure good captures:

  • patient eyes should be wide as possible
  • rings must be clear and even – ensuring no ring jam
  • poor TBUT can be compensated by instilling lubricant
  • multiple maps should be taken separately in time.

Patient and practitioner education

Pat and Randy also stressed the importance of patient education to achieving overall success, including patients’ goals and motivations, and ensuring their expectations are realistic, while proactively explaining adaptation symptoms (i.e. variable vision, glare / flare, spectacle blur).

Approximately 75 per cent of registrants were experienced fitters with the remainder being novices. The first afternoon of the conference was devoted to breakout groups, inviting beginners to attend a session focusing on basic issues in orthokeratology, including issues involving set up, selection of patients, and use of a topographer.

Celia Bloxsom presented a highly entertaining lecture – Without a Paddle, focussing on the wisest ways to choose patients for OK, in order to decrease the chance of failure. Meanwhile, experienced fitters were treated to interesting case studies. Breakout sessions were highly appreciated by the registrants. Organisers anticipate these will continue in future conferences.

Kids and binocular vision

The first day concluded with an exceptionally informative section on kids and OK. This information is vital, as evidence is mounting on the relationship between OK and myopia control. Some practitioners believe that OK does indeed help slow down myopic progression, while the more cautious are awaiting the results of Helen Swarbrick’s definitive study to be published.

Kate Johnson presented her lecture – OK, Kids and Binocular Vision, while Lachlan Scott-Hoy discussed the benefits of fitting kids with OK for sport, while the importance of three way communication and understanding between optometrist, child and parent, also featured as a major topic of discussion.

Following the day’s lectures, with the conference falling on the 31st October – Halloween, delegates were somewhat surprised to find the Trade Expo area converted into a haunted house, complete with skeletons, coffins and cobwebs.

Delicacies served included mini cakes complete featuring eyeball and finger-like body parts, and loot bags were handed to attendees for trick or treating the exhibitors. It proved to be the perfect evening for old friends to reacquaint themselves and new friendships to be forged.

Science and Safety

The second day’s lectures were devoted to the Science of OK and the Safety of OK. There was a comprehensive update on the activities of the Research in Orthokeratology (ROK) Group.

Since its establishment in 2002, the ROK Group has focused its research efforts on answering basic questions in regards to OK. Recent research has addressed:

  • The mechanisms of OK – how does it work?
  • The safety of OK
  • The ideal Dk/t for OK
  • OK for other refractive errors
  • OK for myopia control.

With the promise of myopia control, it is foreseeable that an increasing number of children will be fit with OK potential from as young as from eight years of age. Due to this, we need to be sure that the technique is safe.

Helen Swarbrick, Joe Barr and Luke Arundel covered findings on infection rates, concluding that while technique is as safe as other forms of contact lens wear, the need for compliance needs to be stressed. Joe Barr shared the importance of patient bonding, explaining that if they believe you genuinely care, they will be more likely to comply with your instructions.

During the evening, delegates were treated to a fabulous Congress dinner at the Carlton Brewhouse. Highlights of the evening included: a tour of the brewery, a beer pulling competition, beer tasting and an amazing rendition of the hit song, Summer Nights, from the film Grease, on the bus trip home. As the saying goes, ‘What goes on at camp, stays at camp!’

Future Developments & Outcomes

The final day opened with Brien Holden’s insight into the future of OK and other research developments likely to be commercially available over the next two to seven years, including corneal onlays and gel lenses. Charl Laas and Chris Eksteen concluded the event, relaying their experiences with cutting edge applications of OK post-LASIK and OK for Keratoconus. However, as a beginner, I plan ‘to mould for gold’ and stay with patients guaranteed to provide me with early success and confidence:

  • myopes between 0.50DS and 4.00DS
  • low apical astigmatism – less than 1.50DC WTR or 0.75DC ATR
  • good tear film
  • smaller pupils.

OSO 2008 highlighted that OK achieves resounding success clinically and is backed up by an impressive research base. I am looking forward to the next Congress planned for 2010 and encourage you to attend. It is certain to be just as inspirational. For more information about the Orthokeratology Society of Oceania, contact: Gavin Boneham, president, at bonoptom@gmail.com

Amanda Rungis is an optometrist and owner of a private practice based in Lisarow, New South Wales. This is her first article for mivision magazine.