AOP confirms Locum Clinical Skills Conference will return in 2024

Royal Liverpool University Hospital’s Matt Roney discusses the use of OCT scans in the detection and management of glaucoma at the AOP’s first-ever Locum clinical skills conference

During a discussion workshop delivered at the AOP’s Locum clinical skills conference, hospital optometrist Matt Roney explored how practitioners can use optical coherence tomography (OCT) to support them when detecting and monitoring glaucoma.

“What I am trying to show is that there are lots of tests that you can do in your armoury of managing and detecting glaucoma, but that OCT is also a useful test that you can amalgamate with other tests such as visual fields and looking at the nerve,” he told OT.

Hosted at the ABDO National Resource Centre in Birmingham last year (27 November), the conference was the first of its kind for the AOP.

During his session, Roney highlighted that, “it’s all about putting it together,” explaining: “OCT brings a new dimension to examining patients. I’m not saying it replaces anything, but it adds.”

He emphasised that: “We know that glaucoma is progressive is in nature, it never gets better, so comparing last time verses today is really important.”

Roney advised that, “if you have genuinely got glaucoma, it’s going to affect the neuroretinal rim, the retinal nerve fibre layer and the ganglion cell layer – so putting it all together.” He posed: “If you have an abnormal neuroretinal rim, but a normal retinal nerve fibre layer and normal ganglion cell layer, is that really glaucoma? And what if you have a normal neuroretinal rim, but an abnormal retinal nerve fibre layer and normal ganglion cell layer; could that be suggestive of some kind of vascular pathology?”

“OCT could be picking up disease earlier than what we could if we were just looking at the back of the eye by itself. But, as I say, it’s not just looking at the OCT by itself,” Roney said.

The AOP’s Locum clinical skills conference was run in partnership with Johnson & Johnson Vision and attended by 90 practitioners run. Following its success, the AOP has confirmed that it will host two conferences this year.