Pan European Networks - Horizon 2020 - page 36

zero risk. With OCT, each of the retina’s
distinctive layers can be seen, allowing the
examiner to map and measure their thickness.
These measurements help with early
detection, diagnosis and treatment of retinal
diseases and conditions, including age-related
macular degeneration (ARMD), diabetic eye
disease, and glaucoma.
Case finding in healthcare is a strategy used
to identify previously undiagnosed conditions
or disease in individuals presenting for an eye
examination, which can include individuals
with pre-symptomatic or unrecognised
symptomatic disease. Case finding involves
identifying people at risk based on factors
such as age, family history or other possible
co-morbidity. Such interventions are designed
to detect abnormalities that are then referred
to ophthalmologists.
An eye examination is the most common case
finding intervention for the identification of eye
conditions and disease. The examination of
the fundus (or back of the eye) is a core
competency of the optometrist and is carried
out as standard during the eye examination
procedure. The most common method used
is ophthalmoscopy, whereby the examiner
uses an instrument and visible light to
examine ocular structures. The introduction of
fundus photography allowed for an image of
the fundus to be generated, stored and
reviewed. With modern technology, the
majority of fundus photographs use digital
imaging and storage techniques.
Optometric practice
Many population-based screening programmes,
particularly for diabetic retinopathy as in the
UK and Ireland, use digital fundus photography
as a basis. However, it is important to note that
T
he European Council of Optometry and Optics (ECOO) is a
European organisation that represents the interests of
optometrists and opticians from 25 countries. It aims to
promote eye health to the public across borders and to harmonise
clinical and educational standards of optometric and optical practice
throughout the continent.
Our objective is “to improve vision and eye health by providing high-
quality, cost-effective optometric and optical services across Europe”. In
this light, we strive to improve eye health and vision for all and eliminate
avoidable blindness and visual impairment in Europe. We also try to
create a harmonised professional and educational system for optometry
and optics based on the European Diploma in Optometry. No less
important, we make efforts to develop the scope of practice for
optometrists and opticians to the degree that the same high standards
apply and are mutually recognised in all European countries.
One of the major challenges facing optometrists during daily practice is
the use of optical coherence tomography. The industry often has to
defend the use of this technology, which can bring significant benefits
when undertaking optometric practice.
Optical coherence tomography
OCT is a non-invasive imaging test that uses light waves to take cross-
section pictures of the retina and other ocular structures; it often confers
I S S U E S I X
H O R I Z O N 2 0 2 0 P R O J E C T S : P O R TA L
36
O P T O M E T R Y
Imaging the eye
Writing for
Portal, Martin O’Brien
of ECOO and
Nick Rumney,
of the UK’s
General Optical Council, offer insights into the advantages of optical
coherence tomography in common optometric practice
Martin O’Brien
Nick Rumney
A major debate in
European optometry is
the use of optical
coherence tomography
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