SUN Prescribe CE course is ‘call to action’

September 11, 2012

The AOA EyeLearn™ optometric education portal’s new “SUN Education Series Part 2 — Prescribe” course is more than just an opportunity for optometrists to earn continuing education credits online, it’s a “call to action,” according to instructor John Lahr, O.D.

Introduced last month, the “SUN Prescribe” course was developed by the AOA and the Opticians Association of America (OAA), with support from Luxottica and The Vision Council, as part of their joint SUN Initiative to avert a predicted upsurge in sight-robbing by ultraviolet (UV)- and high-energy visible light (HEV)- related eye conditions by encouraging the use of protective outdoor eyewear.

The “SUN Prescribe” course outlines an “action plan” for participation by optometrists and practice staff in the SUN Initiative, said Dr. Lahr.

The EyeLearn™ “SUN Part 1 – Protect” course, introduced in May, explains why public health officials anticipate epidemic levels of UV- and HEV-related eye conditions – such as age-related macular degeneration (AMD) and cataract – over the coming years, but are also convinced that such eye problems could be virtually eliminated as major public health risks through increased use of protective outdoor eyewear. The EyeLearn™ “SUN Part 3 – Present” course, slated for introduction later this year, will offer practitioners practical tips on making that eyewear available to patients.

However, the “SUN Prescribe” course focuses on perhaps the key aspect of the SUN Initiative: actively prescribing, not simply recommending, UV- and HEV-protective eyewear to patients, Dr. Lahr said.

The course outlines:

  • The reasons for prescribing, rather than just advising patients on, UV- and HEV-protective eyewear
  • Goals and metrics to determine if the prescribing of sun-protective eyewear is effective
  • Rules for defining the unique UV and HEV protection needs of patients and then prescribing the most appropriate protective eyewear solutions, and
  • Examples of “questions and answers” that can be effective in explaining the importance of proper UV and HEV protection to various types of patients.

“The course really calls on practitioners and staff to adopt a new mindset in which emphasis is placed on ensuring protection against UV- and HEV-related eye conditions,” Dr. Lahr observed.

All SUN Education Series courses are COPE-approved for continuing education credit.

The SUN Education Series, like all AOA EyeLearn™ courses, is available free of charge to AOA members.

Certificates will be issued to those who successfully complete all three of the series modules.

AOA members can access the EyeLearn™ education portal at www.aoa.org/eyelearn.

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