Leading ophthalmologists Prof Paul Mitchell AO, A/Prof Wilson Heriot and A/Prof Alex Hunyor have featured in the Macular Disease Foundation Australia (MDFA) new educational webinar series for optometrists on the management of age-related macular degeneration (AMD).
The three education sessions, each with Optometry Australia Quality Assured accreditation, received glowing reviews from attendees, and are now available on MDFA’s website as independent CPD learning.
Almost 90% of optometrists who attended Prof Mitchell’s webinar live said the content was relevant to their study or practice, and 100% said they were interested in attending future CPD activities hosted by MDFA.
Prof Mitchell, Director of the Centre For Vision Research at the Westmead Institute for Medical Research, (Emeritus) Professor of Ophthalmology at the University of Sydney, and MDFA’s National Research Advisor, explored the detection of neovascular AMD with optical coherence tomography (OCT) and optical coherence tomography angiography (OCT-A).
The webinar outlined how to describe and identify the prognostic biomarkers that may indicate an increased risk of progression of intermediate AMD, identify and evaluate neovascular changes in AMD with OCT and colour retinal photography, and identify additional insights OCT-A can provide in neovascular AMD diagnosis.
“The thing that will change in optometry, as it has been changing in ophthalmology, is this new imaging, which you’ll have at your fingertips in terms of being able to understand what’s happening to your patients and helping us to achieve better outcomes in the management of retinal disease,” Prof Mitchell said.
Melbourne retinal specialist A/Prof Heriot covered geographic atrophy secondary to AMD.
The learning outcomes were to accurately define, identify and diagnose different types and classifications of AMD, understand clinical practice pearls including documenting GA on OCT, fundus autofluorescence, and MAIA microperimetry, understand the symptoms and functional impact of dry intermediate AMD and GA (late AMD), including the role of predictive saccades and central visual processing mechanisms in the presence of foveal-sparing scotomas, and acknowledge the current management options and the potential future therapies for AMD and progressive GA.
“This is talking about the things that are important in terms of managing patients rather than just a whole lot of anatomy,” A/Prof Heriot said.
“So I’m hoping that some of these ideas are going to be useful in your clinical practice.”
A/Prof Hunyor, a retinal specialist with expertise in vitreoretinal surgery and macular disease, and Chair of MDFA’s Medical Committee, informed optometrists on how to be confident to classify AMD using the Beckman classification, recognise the clinical implications of the AREDS studies, and prioritise referrals based on current guidelines.
A/Prof Hunyor’s webinar examined the classification of AMD, results and relevance of the AREDS studies, and current referral guidelines and their implications for clinical practice, using case studies to consolidate learning.
Recordings of these CPD webinars – each accredited as one hour of learning – are available now on MDFA’s website: www.mdfoundation.com.au/healthcare-education-program.
CPD Courses for Optometrists
MDFA has also launched free CPD courses on AMD and diabetic eye disease, which have received Optometry Australia Institute of Excellence Quality Assurance and have been funded by the Federal Government.
MDFA has worked with Australia’s leading retinal specialists, including the world-renowned Prof Mitchell, to ensure the most up-to-date and relevant CPD is available to optometrists.
Optometrist feedback after completing the courses included, “The course was informative and engaging. Very easy to follow.”, “Really enjoyed this interactive way of learning. Good case studies.”, and “Loved it. Very interactive and interesting. Fun and easy to follow.”
Each course is worth 1.5 hours of CPD learning with assessment. Optometrists can access this free CPD today through mieducation or MDFA’s website: www.mdfoundation.com.au/healthcare-education-program.