While COVID interrupted many plans to promote the ‘2020 Year of Good Vision’, 2021 brings new opportunities to deliver on those plans and more, and to focus on promoting good vision every year.
An early opportunity to do so will be this March when the Australian Vision Convention returns to share evidence-based innovations in vision science.
I am constantly exposed to all sorts of weird forms of disease and thus can recognise patterns… I believe it’s important to pass this experience on, especially as optometrists take a greater role in ocular therapeutics
Optometry Queensland/Northern Territory (OQNT) has developed a clinical program for 2021 that responds to member feedback and meets new continued professional development (CPD) criteria introduced by the Optometry Board Australia in December 2020.
Marissa Megaloconomos, OQNT’s Board President says, “Like much of the world, it’s been a challenging year for optometry – but we are resilient, and I believe the industry as a whole has never been more ready to move forward, especially when it comes to professional development.”
“This year, the convention theme is ‘20/20+1 Better than Perfect’, which really speaks to the strength of the optometry profession, and our drive to be continually learning and growing to offer world-class eye healthcare to the community,” says Marissa.
AVC will offer plenary lecture themes for the first time, as well as additional interactive workshops. Sessions will be available post the conference, on demand for four months, allowing delegates to complete 100% of their annual CPD requirements through AVC 2021 alone.
Keratitis and Dry Eye
Associate Professor Colin Chan is one of more than 40 distinguished conference presenters who have committed to presenting at AVC 2021. He will deliver two plenary lectures; the first on therapeutic management of unusual keratitis presentations, and the second on therapeutic management of dry eye disease.
An internationally recognised expert in vision correction and corneal conditions, A/Prof Chan will illustrate the variation in disease presentation that can occur in individuals, and how this can trick an optometrist into a wrong diagnosis.
“As a corneal subspecialist, I am constantly exposed to all sorts of weird forms of disease and thus can recognise patterns, whereas many optometrists may encounter these less. I believe it’s important to pass this experience on, especially as optometrists take a greater role in ocular therapeutics.”
A/Prof Chan hopes delegates will take away real-world knowledge, as well as strategies for diagnosis and treatment that can immediately be used to benefit their own patients.
“For years, I have noticed a correlation between gut associated issues and dry eye/keratitis and now research is starting to really take off in this area. I do foresee a time when we will have customised probiotics for eye disease,” he said.
“There is also some very interesting research going on with herpes viral keratitis, looking at different strains and resistance to antivirals. I think we will see some newer antiviral treatments emerge in the next few years.
“One of my motivations is to understand the individuality of each patient’s disease and treatment, and I’m very hopeful that artificial intelligence and the power of big data will enable us to understand how to better treat those patients who don’t respond to current medicine and technology. I look forward to sharing more on where I see all this research heading.”
Delegates are invited to attend AVC 2021 face-to-face at the Sea World Resort and Conference Centre on the Gold Coast or virtually.
AVC 2021 runs from 27–28 March. You can view the full clinical program and register here.