In treating glaucoma patients, don’t focus only on findings such as high IOP. Also consider the impact that glaucoma has on quality of life, said David Friedman, MD, during the “New Angles in Glaucoma” special session, which he presented with Murray Fingeret, OD, at SECO 2015 in Atlanta in early March. 

“The people across the chair are not just people who need to be told that they have so many ganglion cells. That’s such a small part of what we’re doing in the clinic for our patients,” said Dr. Friedman, who is the director of the Dana Center for Preventive Ophthalmology at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. “We talk a lot about quality of life, but we do very little about it.” 

Focusing on quality of life helps patients achieve the best outcomes possible, Dr. Friedman said. “Rehabilitation needs to be part of how we care for patients.” 

Other Special Sessions
Also at SECO 2015, speakers Eric Sigler, MD, and Mohammad Rafieetary, OD, focused in part on the technologies that have made sweeping changes in diagnostics in the “Spectrum of Retinal Detachments” special session. Widefield angiography, for instance, gives doctors a better view of the retina, allowing them to identify tears along the periphery—possibly dispelling the “misconception that vitreous detachment only includes the posterior pole,” Dr. Rafieetary said. Ignoring changes in the periphery, he added, could lead to the development of horseshoe tears. 

Outgoing SECO president Jim Herman, OD, passed the gavel to incoming president Stan Dickerson, OD.

The “Cutting Edge Cornea” course offered a look at recent advancements in corneal surgeries, including a sneak peek at corneal inlays. According to speaker Terry Kim, MD, corneal surgeon and professor at Duke University School of Medicine, recent breakthroughs in the safety and design of these devices could lead to their use for presbyopia management. 

And the Award Goes To…
In addition to continuing education, eye care professionals also came together to honor colleagues who have contributed significant advancements to the profession. 

SECO’s highest honor, Optometrist of the South, was awarded to Richard Phillips, OD, of Germantown, Tenn., for his nearly three decades of practice and countless leadership roles. 

Rob Pate, OD, of Hoover, Ala., was awarded Young Optometrist of the South for the significant impact he has made in less than 10 years of practice. 

Last but certainly not least was the award for Paraoptometric of the South, presented to Caroline Riggins, CPO, of Enoree, SC. As president of the South Carolina Paraoptometric Association from 2008 to 2011, she helped revitalize its lecture program.