24th July 2018
My name is Camella Do and I am a final year optometry student from Flinders University. I have been given the opportunity to spend the last 6 weeks at Innovative Eye Care as part of my clinical placement.
This has been a very eye-opening experience as I have learnt many new things from assessing the fit of scleral lenses, analysing corneal maps for orthokeratology, seeing the effectiveness of myopia control as well as seeing the success of vision training for binocular vision problems.
Throughout my time here, what I found most interesting was the use of orthokeratology for hyperopia and presbyopia. This is because I have only come across it being fitted for myopia and slowing down myopia progression during my studies. Even though the mechanism for corneal reshaping for hyperopia and myopia differs, orthokeratology ultimately reshapes the corneal surface during sleep to allow individuals to see the next day without the need to wear any optical correction. Since presbyopia eventually affects everyone, it is great to see orthokeratology being an alternative option for people to use.
With the prevalence of myopia being on a rise, it was fantastic to see the effectiveness of myopia control in practice through the use of either atropine eye drops or orthokeratology. These interventions not only slow down the progression of myopia, but it also reduces the risk of myopic pathology such as cataracts, glaucoma, retinal detachments and myopic macular degeneration associated with high myopia. I was also able to see A-scans ultra-sound biometry being used to monitor axial length change as a mechanism of monitoring myopia progression, if any at all. It was great seeing it being used in practice and the value that it plays in myopia control.
I was also given the opportunity to assist a school vision screening at Pedare Junior School. There was a number of children who showed unusual findings such as abnormal eye movements or abnormal vision for their age. This highlights that undetected vision problems continues to be a major ongoing issue amongst young children even if they don’t realise it themselves. Not only can these uncorrected vision problems affect the way children behave and their educational development, but it can also lead to children being misdiagnosed with learning difficulties.
Overall, I am very fortunate to complete my placement at Innovative Eye Care and have learnt many things which I will carry throughout the rest of my studies and career. Working with such incredible people and having the opportunity to continue to expand my clinical skills outside of the university-based clinics has been very rewarding and motivating.