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DOCET webinar - Papilloedema: What a headache

  • C-77257. Take part in this live webinar where Dr Denize Atan will look at patients presenting with suspicious optic discs and/or headaches, cover key symptoms to look out for, optic disc examination and OCT interpretation, and discuss how to manage and refer these patients safely.


7.30pm – 8.30pm, 24 February 2021 Add to calendar

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Papilloedema: What a headache - Investigation and referral guidelines for optometrists

Please note this is an evening webinar and the start time is 7.30PM GMT.

We are currently delivering our webinars with speakers and the technical support team working remotely from each other. We aim to maintain our usual high standard of delivery but thank you for your understanding in the event of technical hitches.

Optometrists regularly observe suspicious looking optic discs in routine practice and suspect papilloedema is an increasingly common reason for referral to the hospital eye service. 

Papilloedema is swelling of the optic nerves at the back of both eyes caused by raised intracranial pressure. Papilloedema is significant because it can be the first sign of life-threatening disease, eg brain tumours, hydrocephalus and cerebral venous sinus thrombosis. However the diagnosis of papilloedema can be difficult. It takes training to recognise papilloedema and interpret the results of specialist imaging tests, like optical coherence tomography (OCT), which help distinguish papilloedema from conditions which mimic it. While OCT is a great clinical tool to aid optic disc assessment in community optometry practice, it can also lead to many unnecessary referrals without the necessary training to interpret the results correctly. It is important that optometrists maintain their clinical skills in history taking and examination techniques, and do not lose sight of more traditional methods to assess optic discs accurately in conjunction with the patient’s symptoms.  

This webinar, funded by DOCET and managed by the College of Optometrists, aims to increase the clinical skill for optometrists to be able to assess optic discs and covers:

-    Clinical symptoms of serious neurological diseases that cause headache and/or papilloedema
-    Differential diagnosis of the more common causes of unilateral/bilateral optic disc swelling and pseudopapilloedema
-    Optic disc examination: Indirect ophthalmoscopy and traditional methods as well as OCT 
-    Recommendations about when to refer and where to refer patients to, safely and appropriately
-    Record keeping and patient communication.

You will be able to claim one interactive CET point after attending this live session.

Terms and conditions:

  • To attend this webinar you must be a GOC registered optometrist.
  • To obtain your interactive CET point you must ensure the following standards are met, you must:
    • have a minimum attendance of 50 minutes
    • complete a minimum of 4 of the 6 polls.

Non-member booking

Please note, when booking, if you are not a College member, enter your email address or GOC number and click FORGOTTEN on the Login page to create a password. Contact for help.

What optometrists say about DOCET webinars:

"This was an excellent webinar. One of the best for lesions. Very informative, concise and relevant to everyday practice. Thank you.”
Attendee, DOCET Webinar on retinal and choroidal lesions in daily practice 

Dr Denize Atan

Dr Atan is a Consultant Ophthalmologist specializing in adult and paediatric neuro-ophthalmology at the Bristol Eye Hospital and a Consultant Senior Lecturer at the University of Bristol.  As a neuro-ophthalmologist, Dr Atan specialises in the diagnosis and management of neurological diseases which affect vision at the interface between neurology and ophthalmology.  Similarly, Dr Atan’s academic research lies at the juncture between vision research and neuroscience, uniquely using techniques in both molecular genetics and population genetics. She is currently President of the UK Eye Genetics Group and has advised NHS England /NHS Improvement’s Clinical Working Group on referral pathways for patients with pituitary and brain tumours.