Optometrists are the first health care professionals in Australia to be given access to a new free online CPD series focussed on age-related macular degeneration (AMD) and diabetic eye disease (DR). Developed by Macular Disease Foundation Australia (MDFA) in collaboration with Australia’s leading retinal specialists and partners, the aim of the Australian government-funded series is to improve understanding of macular disease among health professionals in line with the National Strategic Action Plan for Macular Disease.
More than 1.4 million Australians have some evidence of AMD – the leading cause of irreversible severe vision loss and blindness in Australia – while between 300,000 and 400,000 Australians live with diabetic retinopathy, the leading cause of preventable blindness among people of a working age.
MDFA’s CPD has been developed by retinal specialists in collaboration with …RANZCO and consortium partners
MDFA’s CPD has been developed by retinal specialists in collaboration with the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Ophthalmologists (RANZCO) and consortium partners – Optometry Australia, Royal Australian College of General Practitioners (RACGP), Pharmaceutical Society of Australia (PSA) and the Australian College of Rural and Remote Medicine (ACRRM) – and educates participants on age-related macular degeneration and diabetic eye disease. The program is also supported by Vision2020 Australia and Orthoptics Australia.
The short refresher courses for optometrists feature input from world-renowned ophthalmologist Professor Paul Mitchell AO, as well as Dr Angelica Ly and Paula Katalinic from the Centre for Eye Health.
According to Prof Mitchell , the main determinant of final vision, with treatment, is a patient’s starting vision. Encouraging optometrists to refer patients for timely treatment he said, “If people can come in before their vision is affected too badly, that’s the best chance of getting back to good vision”.
The courses – which have received Optometry Australia Institute of Excellence Quality Assurance and New Zealand ODOB accreditation – are made up of two self-paced 30-minute eLearning modules and take approximately an hour to complete.
They provide an overview of imaging, information on risk factors, revision of examination, diagnosis, management and referrals, including how to refer to MDFA via Oculo and easily loop in support services for your patient.
Additional benefits of these courses include information on patient communication, patient difficulties and obstacles, the impact of macular disease, modifiable risk, and how to link people diagnosed with macular disease with appropriate supports and services.
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