Emerging from the cooler, darker months of the year, it’s easy to get excited about spending time outside… walking, picnics, boating, hanging out time at the beach… just the thought is enough to lift your spirits. But spare a thought for 35 per cent of Australians who find this time of the year one of the worst periods to cope with. Pollens, animal dander and dust carried by dry winds bring on the sniffles and itchy dry eyes that make every day just a little more difficult, and for some, extremely hard.
This issue we spoke to two experts on ocular allergy – Dr. Brendan Cronin and Dr. Jason Holland to get their advice about managing these patients. Both agree the task is not easy, however as Dr. Cronin points out with a brief example, getting it right can be life-changing.
Also, with the brighter months in mind, we’ve dedicated our fashion and lens features to Rx-able frames and outdoor photochromic lenses respectively. Optometrist Jim Papas writes about the benefits of these lenses in terms of eye protection and vision, and presents an overview of the major lenses available to meet customer needs.
This issue our education focus is on contact lenses. Auckland based optometrist Adele Jefferies presents her clinical pearls for success when fitting patients using new lens materials and multifocal presbyopic contact lenses. Optometrist and academic Dr. Debarun Dutta takes a look at lens care solutions for soft contact lenses. Describing the evolution of lens care solutions and the associated benefits as well as pit-falls, Dr. Dutta emphasises the need to match the lens care solution to the patient. “Patients who are dissatisfied with lens cleaning and disinfection procedures or chronic corneal staining may be suitable for switching to a daily disposable modality,” he writes, on the other hand, “eliminating the disinfection regime by prescribing daily disposable lenses may not readily improve comfort for symptomatic contact lens wearers”. It seems there’s no silver bullet when it comes to maximising ocular health with our contact lens patients – it just takes time, energy and education.
it’s important to take your time and involve your team when hiring, and to act swiftly when firing
Neither is there a silver bullet when it comes to getting the right people on board to build a strong and unified business culture. As Karen James writes in our business column this issue, it’s important to take your time and involve your team when hiring, and to act swiftly when firing. I’ve written a little more about this in my mitime column this issue.
There’s plenty going on in the industry and we’ve covered the major stories in our news. A dispute between members of the Australasian College of Behavioural Optometrists and Children’s Health Queensland Hospital and Health Service is drawing attention to the evidence supporting behavioural optometry and calling on representative organisations to band together to support their members.
Our lead news story is about a two-year pilot program initiated by RANZCO, which will see the College working closely with Specsavers to develop optometry referral guidelines, initially encompassing glaucoma, diabetic retinopathy and AMD for distribution to all optometrists. RANZCO said working with such a big organisation, with optometrists across Australia and New Zealand will provide the “significant metrics and data” required to assess the effectiveness of the guidelines. How the guidelines differ from existing guidelines, and how they are received by other optometrists remains to be seen.