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Mivision Issue 122, April 2017

Alan Saks | 26 March 2017
For many the year starts slowly, but by April it’s full steam ahead. This year, we’ve already had a number of exciting events and developments take place, with many more to come.

Our lead news story is about the discovery of a retinal cell that could lead to a new therapeutic target to control myopia. Scientists believe the retinal cell may cause myopia when it dysfunctions. This new development complements other research supporting the benefit of outdoor activity and bright light exposure in the rush to reduce myopia progression.

This month our lead story delves deeply into the complex and emotive issue of taking time out from practice. In line with national law, the Optometry Board of Australia (OBA) has strict requirements for optometrists returning to work after three years, which are aimed at ensuring patient safety. These include periods of supervised practice and structured professional development that can be overwhelming according to optometrists mivision spoke to. However OBA Chair Ian Bluntish, says what should be a manageable process becomes “bigger than Ben Hur” because a lot of people don’t think about it early enough.

Optometry Australia’s National Professional Services Manager, Luke Arundel advises that it’s important to be aware of the OBA’s return to practice requirements and to make preparations, even before you step away from optometry. He offers some practical advice and a little-known tip about an available 12-month CPD exemption. 

In this issue we look at the exciting story behind the development and implementation of Oculo, an evolving secure communications platform for eye care practitioners that’s backed by the Centre for Eye Research Australia. Oculo is currently in use by over 1,200 practitioners in Australia and due for roll out in New Zealand.

In miophthalmology Dr. Ravi Singh looks at the amazing evolution of cataract surgery over the past 30 years. Cataract surgery is one of the most commonly performed surgical procedures with an incredible safety profile. The techniques and technology really are Sci-Fi in nature. The visual and lifestyle benefits to patients are truly remarkable.

Dovetailing with Dr Singh’s cataract feature, our first education article provides education on all aspects of sophisticated, premium multifocal intraocular lenses. Adele Jefferies and Dr. Nick Mantell provide optometric and ophthalmological viewpoints on communication, the referral process and co-managing patients before and after surgery.

In mieyecare we sought input from optometrists with a special interest in the field to provide a summary of tips and techniques for managing dry eye.

Margaret Lam takes her usual humorous yet structured approach to problem solving tricky cases and offers a number of tips in dealing with that ever present issue when faced with rigid contact lenses.

Mark Overton assists us to navigate the challenges facing efficiencies in service delivery while dealing with patients. Running a practice can be complex but it is important to ensure patients don’t come second to service delivery.

Safarro, a beautiful sounding word with the romantic connotation of a journey, is the name of an Italian eyewear collection created in 2012 that has recently arrived in Australia. We talked to Nancy Black who established the brand in collaboration with an Italian family based in Rome.

' it’s important to be aware of the OBA’s return to practice requirements and to make preparations '