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Homemieditorialmivision Issue 66, March 2012

mivision Issue 66, March 2012

The advantages of seamless patient pathways – both for professional efficiency and successful vision outcomes – are well and truly understood. Yet still, in many parts of Australia and New Zealand, they are almost impossible to implement.

In regional and rural areas, in many cases, the local optometrist has to provide more complex services than their city counterparts. While they usually enjoy the challenge, when they have to refer a patient to see an ophthalmologist, the patient either has to wait for many months or travel to a major city to be seen. It stands to reason that for an eye health system to be fully efficient, we must have all eye care professionals working together to provide comprehensive services that meet all the needs of the patient.

It was pleasing to see that in one developing country at least, the Australian eye care community has stepped in to ensure that this multi-layered system has been put in place from the start.

I recently travelled with Optometry Giving Sight to East Timor where I saw first-hand the multi-layered benefits of a seamless patient pathway being implemented by the East Timor Eye Program. In one of the poorest nations in the world, patients are receiving the complex care they need to heal damages to their sight that have resulted from occupation, malnutrition and poverty.

Most importantly, our own optometrists, ophthalmologists, ophthalmic nurses and optical technicians, are training and mentoring local eye care nurses and technicians so that when they step back, East Timor will have its own self-sufficient eye health system. The work our own Australian eye care professionals, some of the best in the world, are doing in that country will undergird a healthy eye care system for generations to come.

Speaking of future generations, recent Convergence Insufficiency (CI) studies have provided growing evidence that CI impacts academic performance in students and improvements can be achieved through office based vision therapy. There is now also a growing awareness of a simple way to detect Retinoblastoma – a rare type of cancer of the eye that can rapidly develop in early childhood, well before a child has its eye’s tested – with an everyday digital photo.

However, in the main, we rely on increasingly sophisticated technology and products to deliver advances in eye care. The soft toric lens is one vision aid that has improved significantly over the past ten years. You’ll find the details of these advances, which have led to 94 per cent success rates in lapsed patients, in our
CPD article written by Dr. Emma Gillies.

And, while it’s essential to keep abreast of new technologies, it can be equally fascinating to look back to the optical instruments of the past, which we did this issue, when we spoke to devotees of ophthalmic antiques.

Speaking of devotees, there’s no doubt that Australian eyewear designers, free from the constraints felt by big European brands, and encouraged by an adventurous local populace, are leading the way when it comes to innovative design, as you’ll read in this month’s fashion feature.

There is all this and much more in this month’s issue of mivison.

Enjoy.

Contents:

minews: all the latest news from March 2012. Click here

mistory: Healing the Land of Lost Generations: mivision’s Mark Cushway writes about his experience and the experience of others during his trip to East Timor. Read more…

mifeature: Labour of Love: Collectors of optical and ophthalmic antiques have stories to tell about every piece of memorabilia they find. Read more…

mifeature: Retinoblastoma: Photos Catch the Cancer: Digital photographs provide an easy way to detect retinoblastoma, a rare type of cancer of the eye that usually develops in early childhood. Read more…

mioptometry: the latest optometry reports March 2012. Click here

miview: Are We Living in a False Economy? Putting off today what you can get done tomorrow may seem to create savings in time and money. Read more…

mieyecare: Convergence Insufficiency & Academic Behaviours: As the school year moves into full-swing, it’s interesting to review the latest Convergence Insufficiency (CI) study. Read more…


mieyecare: (CPD ARTICLE) Soft Torics See What Could Be: Advances in soft toric lens design have made fitting astigmatic patients with soft contact lenses much more straightforward, and an increasingly popular. Read more…

miophthalmology: Beyond the Sphere and Cylinder: Being particularly attentive to higher order aberrations when refracting and performing cataract surgery can help optimise a patient’s visual quality. Read more…

mifashion: Dilem: Eye Fashion to Mix and Match: When it comes to personal fashion styling, there’s nothing more impressive than the ability to successfully mix and match colours and patterns. Read more…

mifashion: Australian Eyewear Designers: Inspiring New Looks in Face Jewellery. Read more…

mifashionnews: all the latest fashion news from March 2012. Click here

miproducts: all the lastest products from March 2012. Click here

Thelastword: Sorry to Interrupt You. Read more…

mibusiness: Taking Financial Control of Your Practice: Owning a practice as an optometrist involves much more than just the clinical skills needed for consultations. Read more…

mibusiness: Professional Solutions for a Healthy Practice: some practical ways to secure a healthy financial position for your business. Read more…

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