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Christmas is one of the most important holidays in Austria. Austria is a fascinating country to visit at any time of the year, but the weeks from late November to the end of the year hold a special meaning to Austrians. Christmas time is welcomed throughout the country with enthusiasm by locals and tourists from around the world to observe the magnificently adorned Christmas trees, embellished festivals, extravagant dinners, and elegant Christmas markets. Set in the heart of Europe, Austria is a member of the European Union, the United Nations as well as most UN organizations. Unique customs and amazing scenery makes Vienna, the nation’s capital, a very popular place to hold international conferences.

In December of 2011, one of the largest and most important ophthalmic conferences, The International Symposium on Ocular Pharmacology and Therapeutics (ISOPT), took place during Vienna’s Christmas festivities. ISOPT holds annual meetings around the world to discuss technological advancements in eye care. Over the years ISOPT has assembled a highly respected faculty of over 150 lecturers representing the major fields in ophthalmology. ISOPT serves as a discussion pedestal for ongoing debates with experts on the utilization in clinical trials and drug developments. Among the selected lecturers was middle Georgia’s very own Dr. Johnny Gayton of Eyesight Associates. Dr. Gayton is already well known as a respected teacher in North America, Central America, Asia, and now in Europe. He was selected to present his revolutionary work in astigmatism, cataracts, narrow angle glaucoma, and ophthalmic medications.

First on Dr. Gayton’s agenda, was a discussion about his experience with branded and generic medications. His clinical findings and studies prove that generic drops can be more toxic and less potent than the original FDA approved branded drops. Dr. Gayton has shared his concerns about the generic substitutions of certain medications with numerous organizations. His speech, “Equivalent drugs, Different outcomes,” was well received and quoted numerous times by his fellow faculty members and attendees.

Another highly-quoted speech was Dr. Gayton’s talk about the use of imaging to confirm the diagnosis and treatment efficacy of narrow angle glaucoma. Narrow angle glaucoma is one of the most common causes for blindness in the world. Dr. Gayton owns one of the most advanced imaging devices available, allowing him to measure tiny changes in the ocular tissues. These measurements facilitate faster and more accurate diagnosis of the many different types of glaucoma and aid in the diagnosis of retinal diseases, such as macular degeneration and diabetic retinopathy. Early detection leads to better treatment and recovery. By performing scans at regular intervals, the efficiency of prescribed treatment can be assessed as well. His widely anticipated presentation included a case study written up by Eyesight Associates’ technician and medical student, Riley Sanders.
Dr. Gayton’s lecture involving the treatment of various types of astigmatism is always a popular topic at conferences. Dr. Gayton has many years of experience using the Toric intraocular lens to treat astigmatism at the time of cataract surgery. He has performed several studies involving the use of the Toric lens in patients with irregular astigmatism and corneal problems confirming its success. Representatives of Alcon pharmaceuticals, the maker of the Toric lens, recently celebrated Dr. Gayton’s use of over 200 Toric lenses during 2011.

Dr. Gayton says he is honored to be a member of the faculty at ISOPT’s prestigious annual meetings. He is already received several invitations to lecture in Grand Cayman, Hong Kong, Paris and Instanbul in 2012. “The ISOPT meeting is an excellent opportunity to share with and learn from some of the best minds in eye care. I would encourage any eye care professional to consider attending,” states Dr. Gayton about his exciting trip.