Abstracts and Workshops

Please find your abstract and or workshop details below.  Alternatively you can access a word document copy here: Abstract and Workshop Details

Saturday July 22nd

Updates on Ocular Imaging – Dr Ehsan Vaghefi
The field of ophthalmic imaging is being revolutionized by the introduction of novel modalities. These advances include new generation swept source optical coherence tomography (SS-OCT) and OCT angiography (OCT-A), ophthalmic magnetic resonance imaging MRI and retinal perfusion MRI (ASL). Furthermore, new inexpensive imaging devices (such as the ODOCS smartphone videoScope) have just been introduced to the market in order to deliver eye healthcare to remote and least developed societies. The availability of these new modalities means that optometrists can now access unprecedented structural and functional ocular information, in order to guide their clinical diagnosis. In this presentation, I will provide an overview of commercially available cutting-edge ophthalmic imaging modalities, from a bioengineering perspective.

Therapeutic Contact Lenses – Adele Jefferies
Therapeutic Contact Lenses – going beyond visual correction
While contact lenses have been traditionally utilized for the management of ametropia, their therapeutic potential is well recognized and continues to expand. Contact lenses reduce pain, promote epithelial healing and protect the ocular surface in both acute and chronic ocular surface pathologies. This talk will discuss the advantages, disadvantages and scope of rigid gas permeable, hydrogel and silicone hydrogel lenses for the treatment of eye diseases, with an emphasis on appropriate lens selection and lens fitting considerations. It examines the current and historical role of contact lenses in the management of diseases of the eye and adnexa with the goal of providing practicing optometrists evidence-based guidelines for fitting therapeutic contact lenses.

Visual Processing and Autism – Prof Steven Dakin
Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a neuro-developmental condition, affecting 1.6% of children in New Zealand. Although primarily characterised by impairments in social interaction and communication, “hyper‐or hypo‐reactivity to sensory input” is now a diagnostic criterion for ASD (DSM-V, 2013). In this talk I will review evidence relating to differences in visual processing amongst people with ASD. I will focus on two strands of work. The first concerns simple or “low-level” differences in visual function (such as acuity). The second highlights differences in processing of local and global information (e.g. Dakin & Frith, 2005). The latter set of findings have recently been related to a Bayesian probabilistic framework where vision in autism is characterised as an under-reliance on past experience.
Vision in Virtual Reality – Dr Phil Turnbull
Virtual Reality (VR) is becoming mainstream. While there a lot of research interest in the application of VR, there is little in the way of the effect of VR on the eyes. VR headsets present stereo images on a screen very close to the eyes, viewed through high powered convex lenses. This optical arrangement can be both myopiagenic and a binocular vision challenge. This talk will provide guidance on what to expect, and what to advise your patients in this increasingly virtualised world.

Saturday Workshops

Ocular electrophysiology remains an important tool for the diagnosis of conditions affecting the retina and visual pathway. In this workshop the techniques of pattern VEP, pattern ERG, and multifocal ERG will be demonstrated including examples of retinal pathology. Additional procedures will be also be discussed which allow for these techniques to be extended for use in measuring visual acuity or diagnosing glaucoma.

Ocular Prosthetics
Dr Keith Pine holds advanced qualifications in maxillofacial technology, a BSc. in Psychology, a MBA and a PhD in Optometry. His career has been a blend of dental and ocular prosthetics, and business management having built Australasia’s largest private dental practice in the 1990’s and selling it on to Lumino the Dentists in 2003. He now specialises in ocular prosthetics through the NZ Prosthetic Eye Service and is an Honorary Research Fellow with SOVS. He is the lead author of a peer reviewed book entitled “Clinical Ocular Prosthetics.”
Dr Pine will demonstrate the manufacture of prosthetic eyes, and show how optometrists should examine anophthalmic sockets to assess for signs of inflammation or infection and advise patients about the ongoing care of prosthetic eyes.

This workshop will cover what is required in a ‘gold standard’ paediatric examination of infants, pre-schoolers and older children. Particular emphasis will be placed on techniques which are able to detect ocular pathology or amblyogenic risk factors. Techniques will be demonstrated which can be used to assess reading function in children including eye-tracking and tests of visuo-motor integration. The workshop will also allow ‘hands-on’ experience with a variety of paediatric tools including tests of visual acuity, stereopsis, binocular training software and a variety of auto-refractors. Current evidence based treatment guidelines for the treatment of paediatric refractive error and amblyopia will also be discussed.

Sunday July 23rd

Outcome of the BRAVO clinical trial: Optical treatment phase – Tina Gao, on behalf of the BRAVO study team.
The BRAVO study was a placebo-controlled, double-masked, randomised clinical trial investigating a home-based binocular videogame treatment for amblyopia in older children and adults. The trial was led by SOVS at Auckland, and had study sites in Australia, Canada, and Hong Kong. In total, 137 potentially eligible participants (age 7-55 years) with unilateral amblyopia were recruited. After the optical treatment (“refractive adaptation”) phase, 115 were randomised.
In this talk, I will summarise the results of the pre-randomisation optical treatment phase of the BRAVO clinical trial, and discuss the important implications for research and clinical practice.

Outcome of the BRAVO clinical trial: Main Results
Dr Joanna Black, on behalf of the BRAVO study team.
Baseline characteristics of randomised participants will be discussed, as well as overall findings from the study including the primary outcome of visual acuity following six weeks of training, and secondary outcomes including stereoacuity and suppression. Other factors such as treatment compliance and treatment acceptability were also investigated. In this talk, I will discuss how the final outcomes of the BRAVO trial compare to other studies of binocular amblyopia treatments and how this research may influence treatment guidelines in the future.

Myopia Symposium

Increasing the efficacy of myopia control. Dr John Phillips
Strategies for controlling myopia progression include atropine eye drops or optical methods which impose myopic defocus on the retina (e.g. orthokeratology or multifocal soft contact lenses). Both myopic defocus and atropine cause thickening of the choroid, and it has been suggested that choroidal thickening is a potential indicator of signals for slowing eye growth. Recently we have investigated the effect of combining atropine and myopic defocus on choroidal thickness in children. We found an additive effect of defocus and atropine on choroidal thickness which suggests that a dual therapy could provide better myopia control that either defocus or atropine alone.

Atropine’s action to control myopia: Understanding the mechanisms. Safal Khanal
Atropine eye drops are currently the most effective treatment for progressing myopia, however, the site of atropine’s anti-myopia action is still unknown. It is known that optical defocus produces sign dependent changes in the electrical activity of the retina— hyperopic defocus is associated with reduced retinal responses whereas, myopic defocus causes an increase. Recently, we investigated the effects of 0.1% atropine on inner and outer retinal electrophysiological responses to short-term imposed defocus. This talk will highlight the findings from this study, which suggest that myopia control with atropine might be based on a retinal site of atropine’s action.
Tackling the myopia epidemic in the real world: Myopia control in private optometry practice. Alex Petty
By 2050 over half of the world’s population will be myopic. Not only restrictive on a person’s lifestyle, all levels of myopia increase the chance of serious eye disease later in life. Reducing the prevalence of this epidemic condition is hugely important to limit the personal, social and economic effects a myopic population will bring.
Currently in New Zealand myopia control services are best provided in a private optometry setting. This lecture will explore the myopia control options available in a private practice and will evaluate the literature regarding their efficacy. Alex will also offer his own insight about offering different myopia control options in different scenarios.

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