#KidsTakeOver Universal Children’s Day 2017

Eyezone Blog-KidsTakeOver Universal Children's Day 2017

Every 20th of November, the United Nations promotes international togetherness in spreading awareness among children worldwide and improving children’s welfare with the Universal Children’s Day. Celebrated since 1990, it is the date the UN General Assembly adopted the Declaration of the Rights of the Child in 1959, as well as, the Convention on the Rights of the Child in 1989. Read more

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

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

New interactive course for optometrists to launch in Kuwait

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Eyezone Blog-Eyezone Institute-Refraction Course 2017

Eyezone Institute of Opticianry, in collaboration with Brien Holden Vision Institute, is initiating a specialized refraction standardisation training in Kuwait. The ‘Refraction Standardisation Course’ is designed to refresh optometrists’ skills and knowledge in conducting refraction and prescribing spectacles. This three-month training program involves face-to-face workshop (theoretical and practical), supervised practice, theory and competency exams, as well as, practical sessions led by Eyezone Institute faculty, side by side guest trainers from Brien Holden Vision Institute. Classes will open on July 15, 2017. For registration or inquiry, visit Eyezone Institute’s website or call 22204300.

 

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

IACLE Names Jordanian Optometrist Contact Lens Educator of the Year

Eyezone Blog-Yazan Gammoh-IACLE
Dr. Yazan Gammoh, 2017 IACLE Contact Lens Educator of the Year awardee.

Among those to receive the 2017 IACLE Contact Lens Educator of the Year Awards is Jordanian optometrist and Chairman of the optometry department at Amman Ahliyah University, Dr. Yazan Gammoh. Clinically focusing on keratoconus management using scleral contact lenses, as well as, low vision management in adults, Dr. Gammoh has spent 5 years lecturing and training at universities, symposia, and conferences in the Eastern Mediterranean Region.

The International Association of Contact Lens Educators (IACLE) introduced the award way back in 2014 “to recognize and reward achievements in contact lens education worldwide”, which grants one educator from each of IACLE’s global regions, namely, Asia Pacific, Europe/Africa/Middle East, and the Americas.

Also receiving the award are Prof. Jan Bergmanson (USA), Prof. Koon-Ja Lee (Korea), and Prof. Martha Lucila Márquez García (Colombia). The presentation proper will be held on June 11, 2017 in Liverpool, UK.

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

World Council of Optometry marks 90 years advocacy

Eyezone Blog-WOC-90th anniversary
 World Council of Optometry

Originally founded in Cologne, Germany in 1927 as the International Optical League (Ligue Internationale d’optique), The World Council of Optometry (WCO) marked its 90th anniversary on March 7, 2017.

Headquartered at the American Optometric Association offices in St. Louis, Missouri, the WCO is the only global optometric body in official relationship with the World Health Organization (WHO) and partners with many eye care organizations which share the same goal of high-quality eye health and vision care being accessible to all people.

WCO serves in the development of optometry around the world and supports optometrists in promoting eye health and vision care as a human right through advocacy, education, policy development and humanitarian outreach worldwide.

The WCO collectively represents over 200,000 optometrists in almost 60 countries through over 200 affiliates, associate, corporate and individual memberships across six world regions: Africa, Asia-Pacific, Eastern Mediterranean, Europe, Latin America and North America. Having a long history of worldwide leadership, past WCO presidents have come from countries all over the world including Australia, Canada, Germany, Hong Kong, Nigeria, Norway, the United Kingdom, South Africa, Switzerland and the United States.

“Next to life itself is the gift of vision,” WCO President Uduak Udom explained. “The beauty all around, which just amazes us, comes through vision. Most of our learning comes through vision. For these and many more reasons, optometrists around the world are committed to the cause of a world where high-quality eye health and vision care is accessible to all people.”

WCO will be hosting the 2nd World Congress of Optometry to be held in Hyderabad, India from September 11-13, 2017, in partnership with the Asia Pacific Council of Optometry (APCO) and the India Vision Institute (IVI). The central theme of the meeting, Accessible, Quality Vision and Eye Health complements the World Health Organization (WHO) Global Action Plan of Universal Eye Health with a goal of universal access to comprehensive eye care services.