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In this edition of Advances in Eyecare we hear from four experts about their fields of research as applicable to optometric practice:

  • Dr Deacon Harle and Paddy Gunn discuss the use of selective laser trabeculoplasty as an alternative to topical drug management of glaucoma and ocular hypertension. They clarify what it is, how it is done and who can do it.
  • Dr Shelby Temple describes the latest technique for macular pigment assessment and the implications for its use in community practice eye health screening.
  • Dr Keyur Patel explains the use of intense pulsed light (IPL) treatment for persistent and chronic lid margin disease.

Last published: April 2020

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    • 1.1.2 Understand the use of selective laser trabeculoplasty as a means of managing POAG and ocular hypertension.

    • 1.1.2 Understand the use of high energy light impulse therapy for management of lid margin disease.

    • 2.5.3 Understand the evidence base relating to pros and cons of laser versus pharmaceutical management of glaucoma so as better be able to advise patients.

    • 3.1.3 Understand the latest clinical techniques for assessing retinal and macular structure related to macular pigment density.

    • 6.1.1 Understand the association between the levels of macular pigment and macular degeneration.

    • 6.1.11 Understand the use of high energy light impulse therapy in the treatment of chronic lid margin disease.

    • 6.1.11 Understand the use of selective laser trabeculoplasty as a means of managing POAG and ocular hypertension.

    • 7.1.1 Understand the current legality of specialist and IP optometrists in developing skills for laser therapy of conditions such as glaucoma, both in the hospital setting and in future in community practice.

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      Paddy Gunn and Dr Deacon Harle

      The lowering of intraocular pressure (IOP) is the mainstay treatment for primary open angle-glaucoma and slows down further progression of the disease. Many patients present with raised IOP but without optic nerve damage and this is termed ocular hypertension. Many ocular hypertensives convert to glaucoma, and so lowering their IOP helps reduce the risk of the disease establishing. Recently published LiGHT study suggests that the use of a laser treatment, selective laser trabeculoplasty (SLT), may replace the need for on-going use of IOP-lowering drops. In this interview, we speak to Dr Deacon Harle and Patrick Gunn to find out more about the SLT technique, and what it means for optometrists.

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      Dr Shelby Temple

      Macular pigments absorb shorter wavelength visible light, act as anti-oxidants and reduce degenerative processes. They may also play a role in vision: specifically contrast sensitivity and glare reduction. Accurate measurement of the pigments is useful clinically as a means of assessing macular protection, especially in those susceptible to degeneration. In this interview, we speak to Dr Shelby Temple about a new macular pigment screening tool that has been recently developed at Bristol University.

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      Dr Keyur Patel

      The eyelids are an essential component of maintaining a healthy tear film and treatment of eyelids is often part of a management strategy for dry eye disease.  One long-established technique for dry eye disease treatment involves the use of warm compression, although more recently, controlled abrasion has also been used as part of a management strategy. To understand the importance of a more recent treatment option, Dr Keyur Patel explains how the use of very high energy impulses on the eyelids can help treat dry eye disease.

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