Neurological Nuances

We may have all come across that patient — 4pm on a Friday afternoon they come in complaining of headaches for the past few weeks. You take a look at the nerves, are they actually swollen? Is that just optic nerve head drusen? What’s going on? What’s the management process? Who do you call?
We had all these questions answered and more when Young Optometrist presented the “Neurological Nuances”, featuring guest speakers Dr David Evian, Dr Anthony Tran and Dr Clare Fraser.

Dr David Evian explored the topic of cranial nerves which can often be confusing and challenging. He enlightened us with easy methods we could all adopt in our examination. Dr Evian’s approach included working systemically from cranial nerve one through to twelve. He showed us tools he found useful in everyday practice, including a tuning fork and disposable toothbrush.

Meanwhile Dr Anthony Tran presented many interesting and some life threatening cases he had come across. He discussed important differentials to consider which could ultimately determine the urgency of the referral. Dr Tran’s talk included many tools we have in our practice, for example an OCT, visual fields and fundus photography and how we could use this to aid our diagnosis.

Dr Clare Fraser is an absolute wealth of knowledge and she was able to offer some insight into her area of expertise. She discussed life threatening and non –life threatening conditions and how to differentiate between them. She also touched on a new trial for new onset NAIONs she was currently conducting, potentially offering a management solution for the disease.

All in all it was a wonderful night and we all walked out with brains and bellies full. Sometimes as optometrists we may come across neurological nuisances and whilst it may make our palms sweat a little and heart beat faster, we are better equipped now, with tools and knowledge, to diagnose these.

Written by Dr Rose Huang.

Dr Rose Huang is a Young Optometrist who loves pugs and enjoys life to the fullest.

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