Dr Ana Wert: "The eye is a window through which other general diseases of the organism can be viewed"

On Friday, 25 November, the IMO offered an information session to thirty or so primary care paediatric nurses from the province.

On Friday, 25 November, thirty or so nurses from hospitals and health centres in the province of Girona, within the Catalonian regional health service (ICS), attended the session on the theory and practice of childhood eye examination.

With this session, IMO opened a series of informative talks that aim to foster interdisciplinary collaboration to improve the eye health of children.

According to IMO’s Department of Paediatric Ophthalmology, "prevention is the cornerstone of eye health, because early diagnosis of some diseases can improve prognosis and sometimes save vision. Moreover, the eye is a window through which other general diseases of the organism can be viewed." However, curing vision is not exclusive to ophthalmology.

"There are other health specialities that, at some time or other, are related to the eye health of patients: paediatrics, neurology, endocrinology, general and internal medicine, geriatrics, nursing and optometry all play their part in ensuring healthy vision," explains Dr Ana Wert, a paediatric ophthalmologist at IMO. It was based on this premise that, in November, IMO launched its programme of collaboration between health professionals from different disciplines, starting with community nursing and paediatrics.

According to Dr Wert, "as a result of the implementation of new protocols for assessing the health of children, these health professionals have acquired a key role in early detection and diagnosis of eye diseases in children, such as congenital cataracts and tumours, which helps to provide more time for treatment." Under the title "Paediatric ophthalmology screening protocol: patterns of normality and pathology," the sessions include a talk that explains screening protocols and normality ranges, according to paediatric age group, for the two most common eye conditions in childhood: amblyopia and strabismus. The sessions also provide a clear summary on how to carry out useful and rapid scans as well as an outline of the most common pathologies by age group: 0 – 6 months, under 3 years, 3 – 4 years and over 4, in order to facilitate easy differential diagnosis and referral to the appropriate specialist with the necessary urgency, depending on severity.

The sessions will also include a practical component to help nurses acquire skills in eye examination: visual acuity tests, cover tests (a light test to detect for strabismus) and ocular motility tests. Following the Girona session, which took place at CAP Sarrià de Ter, Mossèn Cinto Verdaguer 3 (Sarrià de Ter) between 1:30 pm and 3:30 pm on Friday, 25 November, there will be five more sessions until 23 January in Lleida, Igualada and Barcelona.