Forewarned is forearmed

31 July 2019
Summer 2019

A message from the President of the College of Optometrists.

The future can at times feel uncertain – perhaps none more so than now – but the more we know, the better we can prepare. That is why much of this issue is devoted to technology-enabled developments – some happening now and others coming soon – that will almost certainly shape our profession and practice, as well as transform the patient experience and level of care. 

Carina Bailey asks how advances in optical coherence tomography imaging could make choroidal thickness a useful measurement in determining ocular health. Selective laser trabeculoplasty is considered as a routine treatment for glaucoma and ocular hypertension, and the implications of delivering eye screening via smartphone or tablet, already offered in the US, and now being combined with online dispensing, are explored by Carolyn Scott.

From the future to the more prosaic and perennial – our cover feature examines some of the prevailing eye health inequalities in the UK. We also hear from optometrists on dealing with ocular trauma and the removal of foreign bodies in practice, as well as how to examine a patient with flashes and floaters. 

Our future theme – and helping to prepare the profession for it – will continue to be our focus in the new membership year. We’ll be conducting a clinical practice survey to monitor how members’ practice is adapting to demographic changes and treatments, and for members to be able to compare their scope and areas of practice with peers. We’ll also be producing a related report looking at the impact and use of technology.

Remember, you can find every issue and article from Acuity online. You can contribute by submitting a case study, and we will pay for the ones that we publish. So if you have a patient experience or scenario you want to share and think colleagues could learn from, we would love to hear from you at

The future can at times feel uncertain – perhaps none more so than now – but the more we know, the better we can prepare


Professor Edward Mallen BSc PhD MCOptom

Ed graduated in optometry from Aston University in 1998, and completed a PhD at the same institution in 2003. He is now Head of the School of Optometry and Vision Science, and Professor of Physiological Optics at the University of Bradford. He also holds the position of Honorary Professor with the School of Health Professions, Plymouth University, and Visiting Professor at Aston University. Ed was appointed College President in March 2018.

Ed is the Ex Officio of the Education and Standards and Research Committees and the Lay Advisory Panel.


Related further reading

This guidance has been developed by The Royal College of Ophthalmologists (RCOphth) and the College of Optometrists (CoO) in response to the pandemic and may be subject to change.

Guidance opens opportunities for optometrists with relevant higher qualifications to support multidisciplinary workforce.