Inherited retinal diseases (IRDs) have a significant impact on the Australian population, with approximately 1 in 1500 children being born with an IRD. Among the working-age population, IRDs account for 20-25% of blindness.
New research by a Melbourne based research group investigated the knowledge and perceptions of IRDs among Australian and New Zealand optometrists. The study found optometrists have a high level of interest in ocular genetics but highlighted significance knowledge gaps around referral pathways and awareness of genetic testing and gene therapy outcomes.
To bridge this knowledge gap among optometrists, and improve detection and management of IRDs, MDFA has launched a new CPD course.
This self-paced course includes education on how to best detect and image IRD, key signs and symptoms about IRD and its impacts, managing and reducing modifiable risk, ensuring high-risk individuals have regular eye examinations, and giving optometrists the necessary information to link people diagnosed with macular disease with appropriate supports and services.
This free, accredited course on inherited retinal diseases has been accredited by Optometry Australia for 2 Therapeutic hours and is available to access via the MDFA website, Optometry Australia and Mivision.