Low Vision News

For low vision specialists and those who consult them

Aaopt review 1/2: Overview

I am just back from the American Academy of Optometry meeting in Orlando, Florida. There was a full low vision programme and I thought I would share some of the highlights here.

The low vision section of the Academy sponsored a special nighttime symposium, from 8-10PM. This was, appropriately enough, on Nyctalopia (difficulty seeing in the dark) and I will review this session in full in another post.

Other highlights of the low vision sessions were two presentations by Eli Peli (on implantable miniature telescopes for macular disease, and a workshop on fitting his peripheral prisms for hemianopia), George and Stanley Woo’s double act on the basics of low vision, and a well attended scientific paper session on the Friday morning (featuring Walter Wittich, Lei Liu and others).

Mike May (an “inspirational speaker” who lost his sight at age three and regained some vision in his 40s) gave a very amusing lunchtime plenary talk followed by Ione Fine, who performed psychophysical measures of Mike’s visual function after his treatment. I have heard both of these speakers before but it was good to hear them again.

One of the clinical sessions I particularly enjoyed was an excellent overview of psychiatric conditions in optometric practice, which again discussed the importance of screening for depression in people seeking low vision care. This was presented by Dr Schwartz from SUNY in New York.

I am not sure it’s worth me going to Envision and the American Academy in the same year as there is quite a large overlap between the two: and I have to say I preferred Envision this year. I disliked the conference facilities in Orlando, especially the hugely overpriced parking at the conference centre. It also annoyed me that although the organisers encouraged people to use twitter from the conference, there was no free wireless in the conference rooms.

A further report on the conference will follow…

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