The pioneering work by internationally-renowned ophthalmologist Dr Noel Alpins AM on analysis and treatment of astigmatism has yet again been placed on centrestage. It was recently the primary subject at this year’s European Society of Cataract and Refractive Surgeons (ESCRS) Lisbon 2017 congress.
For NewVision Clinics, this prestigious event in Lisbon—held between the 7th and 11th of October—provided the ideal opportunity to present the ground-breaking work of Dr Alpins to a very wide audience of attendees.
Throughout his presentation at the congress, senior optometrist Dr George Stamatelatos made many references to Practical Astigmatism, Planning and Analysis—the newly-released book penned by Dr Alpins.
Why astigmatism should be recognised
Practical Astigmatism, Planning and Analysis is likely to be used as an important reference for ophthalmologists, due to the frequency of astigmatism surgery required in patients across the globe.
Ultimately causing blurred or distorted vision at near and far distances, millions of people now experience the condition of astigmatism at various severities.
Astigmatism can occur in combination with other vision defects—such as myopia (nearsightedness)—and it is usually treated by optometrists with eyeglasses or contact lenses.
However, with procedures now able to relieve patients of vision disturbances caused by astigmatism, glasses and lenses are becoming less effective options.
Laser surgery—known as LASIK (laser in situ keratomileusis)—offers another means of treating astigmatism.
Dr Alpins has been a leader in research and development of laser eye surgery techniques for many years. He is so highly regarded, that he was awarded with the Order of Australia medal for his services to ophthalmology and his innovative contributions to eye surgery overall.
The Alpins Method
Most important, Dr Alpins is the founder of the Alpins Method, which was introduced in 1993 in JCRS (Journal of Cataract and Refractive Surgery) which is used in the treatment and analysis of astigmatism. It uses a software system called ASSORT (Alpins Statistical System for Ophthalmic Refractive Surgery Techniques) to analyse and refine surgical astigmatic outcomes.
During the congress, Dr Stamatelatos noted: “Twenty-one years later, it became acknowledged by peer-reviewed journals JCRS and JRS (Journal of Refractive Surgery) as the standard (for reporting astigmatism results), and if someone submits a paper analysing astigmatism, they need to follow this method of analysis.”
The field of Vector Planning
In his role of speaker and instructor at the congress, Dr Stamatelatos—who joined NewVision Clinics in 1998—discussed Vector Planning, which is also covered in extensive detail throughout the works of Dr Alpins.
Dr Stamatelatos explained that the procedure involves “Looking at the shape of the cornea.” From this, an ophthalmologist can then decide on incorporating these parameters as well as those of the spectacles into the treatment plan needed instead of just the parameters of the spectacles.
“Vector Planning allows an eye surgeon to treat astigmatism with laser surgery that can eliminate the need for glasses or contact lenses altogether and leave the eye with an optimal shape,” he added.
This makes it a very attractive option for many astigmatism sufferers who would like to enjoy the freedom of not having to wear glasses or contact lenses to aid their vision.
NewVision Clinics leads the charge
‘LASIK Outcomes and Refinements’, a session conducted by Dr Stamatelatos, covered the many details of astigmatism analysis Vector Planning and the optimisation of future procedures.
Developments in ophthalmology and optometry continue with Dr Alpins and NewVision Clinics continuing to lead the way, with the team frequently attending world-wide professional events.
For further information about laser eye surgery at NewVision Clinics, contact the team on 1800 20 2020.
Practical Astigmatism, Planning and Analysis by Dr Alpins is published by Slack Incorporated. The book is available from: healio.com
Byline: Steve Andrews is a versatile journalist and author currently based in Portugal. He has two books about herbs published by Moon Books, and he has contributed to a wide range of publications, including The Huffington Post, Big Issue Cymru and Tenerife News