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Investigative Ophthalmic Science

The roles of optometrists and eye care practitioners are expanding; advanced instrumentation is available for the identification and monitoring of ocular disease in both hospital and community settings, whilst some practitioners are active in shared-care/ co-management schemes. Practice-based research is also becoming more common and may require the acquisition of new skills.

The module aims to provide learners with technical knowledge regarding investigative techniques for examination of the anterior and posterior eye. The role of new technologies in the assessment and management of patients presenting with ocular disease will be covered, and techniques relevant to practice-based research will be introduced to facilitate the potential for undertaking personal ophthalmic research. The assignment allows students to develop their skills in the critical evaluation of research material. 

NB This module replaces Advanced Ophthalmic Examination from October 2013 onwards. OP4IOS is not available to students who have previously completed OP4AOE.

Topics covered include:

Research Skills in ophthalmic science - use of appropriate investigative techniques; robust recording of findings; how to document common measures of visual function; development and use of questionnaires.

Anterior segment assessment and clinical interpretation of findings - Detection and assessment of anterior segment pathology. Including: anterior segment optical coherence tomography (AS-OCT); confocal microscopy; gonioscopy; Scheimpflug imaging; anterior eye photography methods. 

Posterior segment assessment and clinical interpretation of findings - Detection and assessment of posterior segment pathology. Including: Ocular blood flow (POBF); retinal photography; posterior eye optical coherence tomography (OCT); scanning laser ophthalmoscopy; Optos. 

Electrophysiological assessment and clinical interpretation of findings - Assessment, interpretation and use of electrophysiological investigations in adult and paediatric patients. Including: Electro-oculogram (EOG); electroretinogram (ERG); multifocal electroretinogram (mfERG); visual evoked potentials (VEP); functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI); magneto-encephalography (MEG). 

Ocular biometry – Use of biometric techniques and their utilisation in optometry and ophthalmology. Including Partial coherence interferometry (PCI); ophthalmophakometry; structural Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI); ultrasound biomicroscopy (UBM).