Continuing Education, Co-Management, and Patient Care

Local Ophthalmology Group Hosts Continuing Education Classes for Optometrists in the Pioneer Valley

In a room filled with some of the best optometrists that Western Massachusetts has to offer, Doctors Shield, Shatz and Magauran of Eye Physicians of Northampton, settle in for an evening of informative lectures about their respective ophthalmology specialties. As attendees arrived, registered and began to mingle there was an air of excitement as they reconnected with colleagues and met new faces in the field. With 40 local eye doctors in attendance it was quite a sight to see…

Thank you for organizing last night’s optometry event. The speakers gave very relevant information and it was nice to chat with the five eye physicians and three optometrists in your group. It was also nice to connect with many of my optometry colleagues, and of course the food and wine were great! Thank you again for a delightful evening.”

Once everyone was situated with refreshments in hand, OD’s and MD’s alike found their seats and readied themselves for the presentations, providing 3 hours of free COPE credits to attending OD’s. As a part of continuing education requirements for optometrists in the state of Massachusetts, they must to complete 18 hours of Council on Optometric Practitioner Education (COPE) continuing education credits to keep current on yearly licensure. Most continuing education offerings are held in the central or eastern part of the state, so having complementary courses right here in Western Massachusetts was a convenient change to the typical “drive to educate”.

” Thanks for offering a great COPE program! It’s nice to have such quality lectures in our backyard!”

The lectures began with Dr. David Shield discussing Glaucoma and the role of Minimally Invasive Glaucoma Sugery (MIGS). His hour long presentation provided information about new and existing glaucoma treatment options and the variations of MIGS available in conjunction with cataract surgery. These treatments and procedures are medically necessary for patients with glaucoma who may be uncontrolled with topical treatment alone or have had unsuccessful prior surgical intervention. Left under-treated or untreated completely, glaucoma patients can become legally blind with no possibility of restoring visual loss. The local optometrists asked several engaging questions after the lecture regarding post-operative care, co-management of glaucoma patients, and long term results which Dr. Shield happily answered.

Dr. Lauren Shatz took the podium next with a 60 minute lecture and Q&A on The roles of Manual Small Incision Cataract Surgery and Phacoemulsification in the eradication of global cataract blindness. Discussing surgical outcomes, ease, and necessity of both surgical cataract treatments, Dr. Shatz explained how he performs both variations of cataract surgery on his patients whether it be abroad on mission trips or stateside. Volunteering to provide eye examinations and surgeries throughout the world is one of his passions, and his experiences home and abroad led to sincere discussions about how local OD’s can volunteer their time as well.

The last speaker of the evening, Dr. Raymond Magauran gave a 1 hour talk on Ptosis and Dermatochalasis Management. The newest addition to the Eye Physicians family, Dr. Magauran is an oculoplastics specialist with a background in neurophthalmology. His lecture discussed evaluation, cause and treatment of several brow and lid conditions that often require surgical intervention. The attending optometrists had several questions after his presentation which also sparked discussion about insurance prior authorizations, documentation and approval procedures which proved to be useful to many in attendance.

At the end of the evening, OD attendees received their COPE CE certifications and eagerly asked “When’s the next event?”. Feedback since has been overwhelming and Eye Physicians looks forward to hosting more continuing education events for local optometrists in the future. Partnering with local offices, co-managing patients, and sharing information that helps the providers to better understand the ophthalmic process provides for better patient care. Eye Physicians of Northampton strives to not only provide quality care and education for their patients, but for optometric providers in the community as well.

“The program last night was fun and informing.  It was quite generous for the Docs at Eye Physicians to prepare and present this to the ODs in the Valley. Please do send our thanks along to the Eye Physicians Docs!”

“Thank you for the well organized program you put on for us optometrists! I can not imagine all the work, time and effort you put in to make this such a success! Looking forward to working with your office with my patients.!”

Education is not just about going to school and getting a degree. It’s about widening your knowledge and absorbing the truth about life.

Shakuntala Devi


Glaucoma Awareness and Treatment

What is Glaucoma and How is it Treated?

Glaucoma is a chronic disease defined by characteristic optic nerve damage. It is a complex and common disease, affecting over 40 million people worldwide. Glaucoma is a slowly progressive and irreversible disease and in most cases, causes a painless loss of eyesight.

The damage to the optic nerve is commonly caused by pressure in the eye, as well as possible decreased blood flow to the optic nerve. Lowering the pressure inside the eye can slow the process of optic nerve damage. The amount of pressure lowering that is necessary to prevent glaucoma from worsening is different for each person and each optic nerve. The more advanced the optic nerve damage, the lower the pressure needs to be to prevent further optic nerve damage and vision loss.

If your doctor has diagnosed you with glaucoma they have informed you that if it not treated, you may experience vision loss and eventual blindness. Commonly, eyedrops are used as a first line of treatment. In many situations, multiple medications are tried to achieve the desired pressure level. However, there can be difficulties with using eyedrops and laser therapy is commonly substituted as a first line of therapy. There are other alternative treatments available, but they generally have higher potential risk.

Recently there have been significant advances to better control the pressure inside the eye. Micro-invasive glaucoma surgeries (MIGS) involve bypassing the normal pathway for fluid to leave the eye. MIGS, including the iStent, CyPass, Kahook Dual Blade (KDB), and the OMNI are surgical therapies for patients who have mild to moderate open angle glaucoma. These surgeries are designed to improve the outflow of fluid from the eye, lowering the pressure inside the eye and reducing the need for glaucoma eyedrops. This helps reduce the risk of future vision loss from glaucoma.

Istent® and CyPass are implants that are placed in the drainage area of your eye at the time of cataract surgery. The implants stay in the eye to allow for lower pressure.
KDB and the OMNI are not implants, but are used to open up the drainage system in the eye to allow for lower pressure. These may be performed on its own or at the time of other eye surgeries.
Your surgeon will determine which one of these devices is best for you and your eyes.

All of these options are elective procedures. As your surgeon has discussed, these procedures are potentially beneficial in helping to lower the eye pressure and reduce the number of glaucoma medications that you take. If you decide not to have this procedure, other treatment options may be recommended and should be discussed with your physician to better control your glaucoma.


These procedures should not be performed in eyes with angle closure glaucoma, including uveitic (inflammatory) glaucoma. They should not be performed in patients with neovascular glaucoma or in patients with thyroid eye disease, Sturge-Webber syndrome or any other type of condition that may cause elevated episcleral venous pressure.

Am I a candidate for MIGS?

Only a thorough and comprehensive consultation and evaluation of your open angle glaucoma with an experienced ophthalmologist will determine MIGS candidacy. To schedule a consultation with Dr. Shatz or Dr. Shield, please contact our office through our website, or call 413-584-6422.