European Academy of Optometry and Optics Attracts 300 Attendees

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MALAGA, Spain—More 300 optometric and optics professionals from more than 40 countries gathered here for the European Academy of Optometry and Optics’ (EAOO) annual conference held April 19 to 21.

In keeping with the Academy’s aim of building professional networks internationally, the conference was part of Malaga 2013, a unique optometric and optics gathering that also included the European Council of Optometry and Optics’ General Assembly, the World Council of Optometry General Delegates’ Meeting and the Spanish General Council of Optometry’s National Conference.

The conference featured lectures, clinical workshops, discussion forums and case studies from over 30 international experts. Many sessions offering continuing professional development on a range of topics, including computerized screening in older people, sudden loss of vision in a young patient and controversies in contact lens care.

Highlights included a keynote lecturer from Professor Brien Holden of Australia, who discussed how technology can help eye health professionals to meet the various eyecare needs of both developing and developed countries. During the second keynote lecture, Dr Eef van der Worp of the Netherlands spoke about the challenges of fitting large diameter contact lenses and the complications encountered by various clinical factors.

During the conference, Dr Paul Murphy, University of Waterloo, Canada, took over as president of the Academy from Professor Roger Crelier from Switzerland. Murphy said, "I have been committed to the Academy since its foundation in 2009 and I am delighted to be appointed as its new president, and to be able to carry on the good work of my predecessors Feike Grit and Roger; they are a hard act to follow.

Over 100 poster presentations were also on display during the conference by presenters from around the world. Following delegate voting and panel discussion, prizes were handed out to three of the conference’s presenters:

Sandra Block, Illinois College of Optometry/Special Olympics International, USA won Best Poster Presentation for her “comparison of visual findings of athletes participating in the Special Olympics Lions Clubs International Opening Eyes.”

Pádraig Mulholland, University of Ulster, UK won Best Oral Presentation for his “temporal summation with perimetric stimuli as a function of visual field eccentricity.”

Sofia Mateus, Universidade da Beira Interior, Portugal won Best New Researcher for her “letter discrimination and reading performance under spherical and astigmatic blur, using 'Roman' alphabet.”

Winners were chosen by a combination of delegate votes and panel decisions, with prizes sponsored by the College of Optometrists, UK.

The Academy’s next conference will take place in Warsaw, Poland, from May 15 to 18 2014.