Last month I attended one of the major professional conferences for optometry and wanted to share a few highlights with all of you. This year the 117th Annual AOA Congress & 44th Annual AOSA Conference: Optometry’s Meeting was held in Philadelphia for four days. The purpose of the meeting is to gain hours of education and learn about the latest in eye and vision care. This year I learned quite a bit of interesting information about medical, pharmaceutical and technological innovations in the field of optometry and ophthalmology.

In the world of pediatrics, there are new methods that have been proven successful in controlling myopia (near-sightedness), which is huge because of the use of computers, gaming and smart devices. 

As for contact lenses, I was introduced to new rigid gas permeable lenses. Those lenses aren’t worn by many people, but for those who do need to wear them just know that good things are on the horizon. For you soft lens wearers, you might be surprised to know that the last advent of a brand new contact lens was in 2007. To put this in perspective, the iPhone came out in 2007 and think about all the models you’ve had since the original. Because of FDA regulations, it takes our industry a long time to introduce new lenses, so this is a big deal and I’m very excited to introduce Bausch + Lomb’s Ultra lens. I’ve worn it on my own eyes and I can attest to its comfort. The Ultra won’t replace our current lenses, but it’s nice to have another option for my patients.

In the exhibit hall I tracked down John with iVue and thanked him for his assistance in purchasing our newest high tech addition. The iVue has been an incredible asset to our practice and I’m thrilled with the positive impact it’s had on our patients. People are genuinely interested in seeing their eyes on an anatomical level, which excites me.

For low vision patients, I found new, affordable low vision devices that will be very helpful in day-to-day life. We now have Optelec stand and handheld LED magnifiers in the office for patients to test and purchase. 

Overall it was a great meeting and I'm looking forward to American Academy of Optometry's conference this November in Denver.