Brien Holden Vision Institute and Eyezone Institute-Kuwait conduct slit lamp training in Jordan

Eyezone Blog-Eyezone Institute Slit Lamp Training Course

Eyezone Institute of Opticianry, in collaboration with Brien Holden Vision Institute, orchestrated a two-day slit lamp skills training session held on November 16-17, 2017 at the Jordan Optometric Syndicate, Amman. The team of Eyezone Institute faculty members namely, Dr. Nezar Damati (Executive Director) and Mr. Moayad Al Deek (Assistant Training Director), covered various topics, such as, setting up of the slit lamp, patient and illumination system, examining the eye, as well as, hands-on workshop sessions where the trainees were able to examine patients, among others. Read more

Eyes into our small world: Nikon’s Small World Photomicrography Competition 2017

Eyezone Blog - Eyes into the small world - Image 2

Running in its 43rd year, Nikon’s Small World Photomicrography Competition is a science-focused photography competition that magnifies on anything that goes on under the microscope. With more than 2,000 entries from 88 different countries in 2017, the winning entries narrowed down to three prize winners, including 85 honorable mentions. Read more

Genes may be responsible for sight loss

Eyezone Blog - Genes may be responsible for sight loss-compressed

In a conference held in Edinburgh titled “Eye Development and Degeneration 2017”, scientists said that they have identified chemical changes in the eye that can lead to blindness. Their findings aid understanding of a genetic condition that causes sight loss for one in 3,000 people in the UK.  Read more

Here comes the sun, keep your eyes safe

Eyezone Blog-Here comes the sun, keep your eyes safe

 

July is UV Safety Month

UV radiation can damage your eyes as well as your skin. Studies suggest that overexposure to UV radiation can cause eye cataracts, eye damage, and suppression of the immune system, in general. May they be your family, friends, or colleagues – everyone is equally at risk for eye damage due to overexposure to the sun’s ultraviolet radiation.

The sun’s UV rays can burn the cornea of your eyes, which can result in cataracts that may ultimately cause blindness. Even short periods of exposure can lead to serious damage. Read more

Are your listening? Your pupils indicate if you are

EYEZONE Blog-Are your listening-Your pupils indicate if you are-2

A new Dartmouth study finds that listeners are most likely to tune in when a speaker delivers the most emotional peaks of his/her narrative, as revealed by synchronous pupil dilation patterns of speakers and listeners due to shared attention.

The findings also demonstrate how empathy comes into play. While listeners with both high and low empathy tuned in for the climax of a story, overall, listeners with higher empathy tuned in more. Read more

SAARC: From Darkness to Light

Eyezone Blog-Nepal Ophthalmic Society Logo
SAARC Academy of Ophthalmology Congress in Kathmandu 2018

Nepal Ophthalmic Society is hosting XIV SAARC Academy of Ophthalmology Congress in Kathmandu, Nepal from 21st to 24th June 2018.

More than 1000 Ophthalmologists, Optometrists and other cadre of eye care professional from eight SAARC countries, experts and speakers from all over the world, are expected to participate in this ophthalmic scientific gathering taking place in Himalayan Nation.

The theme of this congress is identified as “From Darkness to Light”.

Source: IAPB News

Priorities for glaucoma care in Sub-Saharan Africa

Eyezone Blog-Priorities for glaucoma care in Sub-Saharan Africa
Applanation tonometry: accurate measurement of intraocular pressure is important in the diagnosis and treatment of glaucoma/ Photo credits: Gabriel Entekume

 

Glaucoma affects at least one in every 25 people aged 40 years and above in Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA). It occurs as a result of the intraocular pressure (eye pressure [IOP]) being too high for the normal functioning of the optic nerve which is responsible for sight. Despite the vision loss that it causes, over half of the people with glaucoma are unaware and this is reflected in their late presentation in seeking care. A staggering 50% have already lost vision in one eye and are at high risk of losing vision in the second eye by the time they seek treatment.

There are three main modalities for treatment of glaucoma: medical, surgical or laser therapy. The choice of intervention currently depends on several factors related to the patient: stage/severity at presentation, compliance with health instruction, socio-economic status influencing ability to afford medicines and care, and residence in relation to follow-up. For example, the literate relative of a medical doctor may have medical therapy with 3-monthly follow-up; whereas for a rural non-schooled farmer, the better option may be a one-off surgical treatment (trabeculectomy) with follow-up in the local health centre.

The aim of treatment is to lower the IOP in order to prevent or slow down further vision loss, as any vision already lost cannot be restored. The prognosis when explained is often a source of anxiety to the newly diagnosed patients. Some patients do not accept their diagnosis nor comply with the treatment plan nor accept the prognosis. This leads them to seek multiple opinions in different hospitals, hopping and hoping.

Mrs CP is a 61-year old woman diagnosed with open-angle glaucoma:

“The vision impairment came in my adulthood. In fact, I did not know I had vision impairment, it came quite slowly. Now they say I have to use eye drops for the rest of my life. I cannot even find the drugs to buy and when I find they are so expensive, I cannot afford to buy. Even putting the eye drops is a problem as much of it runs down my face. And it stings.

My vision has worsened. I am tired. I have gone around so many eye clinics without any improvement. In fact, the teaching hospital is worst. I can hardly see and I was asked to go to so many points, pay so many times, wait for so long before I could see the specialist. And to think I have to do this for the rest of my life…Ah!!

I was already blind in one eye and the other eye is also going. Now they said I should have operation in my better eye… God forbid bad thing!! Let me just manage, when I have the money, I will buy the eye drops from the chemist.”

It is, therefore, imperative that we set our current priorities to:

1. Optimising treatment and patients’ care – i.e. doing the best for those who seek care.

2. Responding to patients’ perspectives with patients’ participation.

Strengthening clinical services would include training in surgical skills, laser procedures and building teams for optimal glaucoma care, for better treatment outcomes. Ensuring that effective medicines are available within well-equipped centres would also expand the treatment choices. Additionally, national guidelines and protocols would be helpful in optimising the diagnosis and treatment of patients.

Population-based surveys in SSA indicate that only about 10% of glaucoma patients seek hospital treatment. Additionally, there is a challenge in keeping patients within the health care system. To engage the patient, there should be counselling to enhance their understanding of the disease and encourage participation of the patient in their choice of therapy and compliance with treatment. The ease of financing mechanisms for their treatment is also important. Additional efforts should be geared towards providing a pleasant hospital experience so that a follow-up visit would entail a one-stop shop.

Eye care providers working together with patients with glaucoma will enhance better treatment outcomes in SSA and together they can be BIG; Beat Invisible Glaucoma.

 

The article above was written by Fatima Kyari, Consultant Ophthalmologist, IAPB West Africa Chair.

Source: IAPB

Free vision screenings for quality vision

Eyezone Blog-Free vision screenings for quality vision

CHICAGO (March, 2017) – Prevent Blindness, the oldest volunteer eye health and safety group in the USA, and Allergan (NYSE: AGN), a global leader in eye care for nearly 70 years, have embarked on a joint effort to promote healthy vision. As part of their recently launched ‘See America’ initiative, Allergan is working with Prevent Blindness to sponsor vision screening events across the country to help provide adults with access to quality vision care. As well as learning about the leading causes of preventable blindness and vision loss, attendees will receive a free Prevent Blindness certified vision screening, referral to professional eye care and financial assistance as needed.

According to the recent Prevent Blindness study, “The Future of Vision, Forecasting the Prevalence and Costs of Vision Problems,” vision loss in the United States is projected to grow by 135 percent from 4.4 million to more than 10 million people by 2050.

Along with the increase in the prevalence of vision problems, the total real cost of vision problems is expected to increase by 157 percent from $145 billion in 2014 to $373 billion by 2050.

“We cannot wait any longer to address America’s vision health threats,” said Herm Cukier, Senior Vice President of Eye Care at Allergan, who is leading the See America initiative. “By working together with groups like Prevent Blindness, we can directly impact individuals who are at-risk for vision problems and those who are currently experiencing vision loss. Through education and direct access to vision care, we can fight against preventable blindness and vision impairment.”

See America’s commitment to increasing awareness of diseases that cause preventable blindness extends beyond these initial one day events, as Allergan is providing support for ongoing program initiatives in the communities Prevent Blindness serves.

“Prevent Blindness thanks Allergan for their valued partnership and continued commitment to vision and eye health programs,” said Hugh R. Parry, President and CEO of Prevent Blindness. “Working with our affiliates around the country, the See America program will make a tremendous impact toward protecting the precious gift of sight.”

Source: Optical Vision Site

UK sight charity helps over 1 million people in Rwanda

Eyezone Blog-IAPB-UK Charity-UK Sight Charity Helps Over 1 Million People in Rwanda1 March 2017 – Vision for a Nation (VFAN) has now helped over one million people to access eye care services across Rwanda. The award-winning UK charity has supported Rwanda’s Ministry of Health to successfully build an affordable nationwide eye care service that is locally available to all the nation’s 10.5 million people and is fully integrated into the public health system.

The service is provided at all of Rwanda’s 502 local health centres by certified nurses trained by VFAN to provide eye care since 2013. A nationwide outreach programme launched in 2015 is extending the service to 100% of Rwanda’s 15,000 villages to maximise awareness and address the huge backlog of need. Over 1.2m eye screenings, 560,000 medication prescriptions, 144,000 referrals for specialist treatment and 109,000 pairs of glasses have been provided to date.

Theophile – a textile worker reliant on her sight – is one of the 1+ million people helped by VFAN. She says: “Now that I have these glasses, I am not worried for my job anymore. The glasses help me in my job, and that way I am able to continue to provide for my family.”

Tom Rosewall, CEO of VFAN, comments: “Rwanda is the first emerging country in the world to provide all of its people with local access to affordable eye care. In only four years the service that we have helped build throughout the nation has served more than one million people – 10% of the population. With complete integration within Rwanda’s public health system, it will continue to help people long into the future. We are now working to take our ground-breaking approach to other countries around the world”.

Source: IAPB

90 Percent of Work-Related Eye Injuries Can be Avoided experts say

Eyezone Magazine: March 2017 Monthly ObservancesSAN FRANCISCO – On-the-job safety goes well beyond avoiding slips, falls, and heavy lifting. Caring for your eyes should be a high priority and part of an overall workplace wellness routine. This is important because, each day, about 2,000 U.S. workers sustain a job-related eye injury that requires medical treatment. However, 90 percent of these accidents can be avoided by wearing eye protection. As part of an ongoing effort to stress the importance of workplace eye wellness, the American Academy of Ophthalmology, during the month of March, is encouraging the public to do right by their eyes and wear appropriate eye protection.

Workplace eye injuries cost more than $300 million a year in lost productivity, treatment, and compensation. These injuries range from simple eye strain to trauma, which may lead to permanent damage, vision loss, and blindness. This is particularly true for workers in construction, manufacturing, and mining. Approximately, 40 percent of eye injuries in the workplace happen in these three industries.

If an eye injury does occur, an individual should seek care from an ophthalmologist — a physician who specializes in the medical and surgical treatment of eye diseases and conditions — or go to an emergency room for immediate care.

Caring for your eyes on the job should not be limited to those who do physical labor, however. People who spend long hours working on a computer can experience eye discomfort. Focusing on small font type for hours on end can cause eye strain, fatigue, and headaches. Staring at screens for long periods can also leave eyes parched and red, causing eyes to become dry from lack of blinking. This happens frequently as computer screens or other digital displays reduce a person’s blink rate by as much as 50 percent.

The Academy provides tips to help avoid workplace eye injury or strain:

Wear protective eyewear: Ensure that your eye protection is appropriate for the type of hazard that may be present in your workplace, such flying debris, falling objects, chemicals, intense light, and heat. Your eyewear must be American National Standards Institute ANSI-approved and OSHA compliant. You must use special-purpose safety glasses, goggles, face shield or helmet if you are near hazardous radiation welding, chemicals, lasers or fiber optics.

Position your computer 25 inches away: If you are working on a desktop computer, try placing the monitor at an arm’s length away from your face. You may need to adjust the font size to appear larger at that distance.

Follow the 20-20-20 rule: Eye strain and dry eye occur after long, continuous periods of viewing digital screens up close. To help alleviate this, take a break every 20 minutes by looking at an object 20 feet away for 20 seconds. Looking at a distance allows your eyes to relax and return to a regular rate of blinking again. Normally, people blink about 14 times a minute and with every blink, your eyes are lubricated with fluid that contains moisturizing elements, including oil.

Reduce glare on your smartphone and digital screen: While many new phones and digital devices have glass screens with excellent picture quality, they also produce a strong glare that can aggravate the eyes. If you use a glass screen device, adjust the low light filter setting to lower screen brightness or use a matte filter to reduce eye strain.

Adjust environmental lighting at your work: If your computer screen is brighter than your office surroundings, your eyes need to work harder to see. You can reduce eye strain by adjusting the lighting in your surroundings.
“It takes only a few seconds to protect yourself from eye related issues that can cause vision problems,” said Brenda Pagán-Durán, M.D., a clinical spokesperson for the American Academy of Ophthalmology. “I can’t stress enough the importance of incorporating eye wellness into your daily routine; whether it’s simply adjusting the setting on your computer monitor, or wearing appropriate protection to avoid serious eye injury. This is truly an ounce of prevention that can safeguard your vision.”

For more eye safety tips, visit eye injury prevention at work. Visit the Academy’s EyeSmart® website for more information on computers and eye strain in the workplace.

Source: AAO