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Ocular Health and Beyond: O=MEGA23/WCO4

Innovations extending beyond ocular health will be discussed when the long-awaited O=MEGA23/World Council of Optometry (WCO4) clinical conference kicks off in Melbourne.

Taking place from 8-10 September at the Melbourne Conference and Exhibition Centre, the clinical conference promises three days of jam-packed learning for eye care professionals.

Associate Professor and Head of Ocular Biomarker Laboratory at the University of Melbourne, Christine Nguyen and Dr Adrian Bruce from the Australian College of Optometry are on track to deliver their in-depth presentation, ‘Thinking beyond glaucoma to the brain’.

Shedding light on the application of Optical Coherence Tomography (OCT) technology not only to eye disease but extending this to brain disease, Assoc/Prof Nguyen and Dr Bruce will explore how thinning of retinal ganglion cell layers observed through OCT imaging can be an indicator of multiple different diseases.

“Optometrists know that strokes or tumours in the brain affecting visual pathways manifest in the visual field. With OCT being used increasingly as a screening device it is also important to remember that these brain changes will cause retrograde degeneration of the retina, exhibiting as thinning of OCT retinal ganglion cell layers,” said Assoc/Prof Nguyen.

Also acknowledging the monumental role that OCT plays in reshaping how eye diseases are diagnosed, Assoc/Prof Nguyen and Dr Bruce’s presentation will offer critical insights into the crucial connections between ocular health and neurological conditions.

“New evidence indicates that this concept extends even further into brain diseases such as Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s disease. Given how common Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s disease are in an older demographic who regularly visit the optometrist and who are more at risk of glaucoma due to their age, it is important to be aware of this OCT overlap and strategies to differentiate.”

Assoc/Prof Nguyen and Dr Bruce will be presenting ‘Thinking beyond glaucoma to the brain’ on Friday, 8 September at 1:30pm in the Eureka Room. This is just one many lectures available to delegates over the jam-packed three-day clinical program.

Social Events

Along with a 9,000sqm exhibition hall filled to the brim with the latest technologies ready to explore, the event organisers have planned various social functions to get you excited.

These include the Welcome Reception (Friday evening, 8 September) and the Meet and Greet Down Under event (Saturday evening, 9 September), which will run concurrently with The Koorie Market @ Naarm.

Creating a wonderful opportunity for the optometric community to connect with Aboriginal communities, the Koorie Market @ Naarm will highlight Indigenous and First Nations work, businesses, wares and musical talent, celebrating and uplifting their culture.

Find out more about the social events available to delegates here.