Glaucoma UK is a small charity but has a big impact!
Read our latest news including recent updates about our organisation and sight saving research, as well as stories where people living with glaucoma share their thoughts and experiences.
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24th December 2021
An end of year message from our Chief Executive
As 2021 comes to an end, I want to take a moment to say a heartfelt thank you for your kindness and support during the last, not always easy, year.
Whether you’ve played our weekly lottery, shared your own experiences of living with glaucoma, left us a gift in your will or taken part in one of our events, you have been generous with your time, interactions and gifts. And we are grateful to every one of you....
Glaucoma UK staff will be taking a short break over the festive period, and our offices will be closed from 12:00pm on Wednesday 22 December 2021 until 09:30am on Tuesday 4 January 2022.
If you need support during this time, our website holds many resources that you may find helpful, including our information booklets and recordings of our previous Digital Glaucoma Support Groups on all things glaucoma.
If you require urgent help with your glaucoma during this time, we recommend you contact your eye hospital or A&E for assistance....
Moorfields patient receives world’s first 3D printed eye
A patient at the Moorfields Eye Hospital NHS Foundation Trust has today become the first person in the world to be supplied solely with a fully digital 3D printed prosthetic eye.
Steve Verze (pictured), an engineer in his 40s from Hackney, is the first to take a fully digital artificial eye home with him. Following on from the announcement, a clinical trial will be starting at Moorfields.
Currently, patients who need a prosthetic eye will often need surgery, leaving scar tissue. To allow for healing, they are given a temporary prosthetic eye six weeks after surgery, but this will not be a precise match to their natural eye. Typically, patients then wait for four to five months before the moulding appointment for their own prosthetic eye.
Today marks the first time a patient has ever used a 3D printed eye as their sole prosthetic. Unlike traditional methods, the new 3D printing process avoids the invasive moulding of the eye socket, which is often so difficult with children that they need a general anaesthetic, and uses scans instead....
There’s no denying it, winter is almost upon us. During the months that lie ahead, it’s important that we look after ourselves, our loved ones and also those in our local community if we can.
The winter weather will mean many of us will be spending more time indoors, using our tablets, computers, mobiles and watching television. But we’re all in this together! So to help, we’ve put together some handy tips on how to stay healthy this winter, including how to keep warm, what vaccinations you may be entitled to so that you can keep safe and how to look after your eyes.
Cold weather and feeling cold increases pressure on our heart and circulation. This can increase the risk of strokes, heart attacks and hypothermia.
You are more at risk from the cold during the winter if:...
NICE consultation on first line glaucoma treatment now open
The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) manages which treatments are offered on the NHS in England, Wales and Northern Ireland. They decide which treatments provide the best outcome for patients, within the available resources of the NHS. As treatments for diseases are being developed all the time, NICE regularly reviews the processes they recommend.
NICE has now opened a consultation on guidelines for the diagnosis and management of glaucoma. For years, the most common treatment for glaucoma has been eye drops in a first instance, followed by laser if required. However, research has identified that SLT is cheaper and just as effective as eye drops as an initial treatment. NICE is therefore proposing that selective laser trabeculoplasty (SLT) should be the initial treatment offered to people when diagnosed. They would like feedback on whether to make SLT the first line of treatment for open angle glaucoma and ocular hypertension, followed by eye drops if needed.
What would this change this mean for glaucoma care in England, Wales and Northern Ireland?
Care for established glaucoma patients will not change. Neither will care for people with advanced glaucoma, or angle closure glaucoma.
People who are newly diagnosed with mild-moderate chronic open angle glaucoma (except for pigment dispersion glaucoma) and ocular hypertension will be offered SLT as the first treatment for their glaucoma. If they don’t want laser, or laser isn’t suitable for them, they will be offered eye drops.
The result is that people may have three to six years without eye drops, where their glaucoma is managed through laser. Once they’ve received several laser treatments, they may be put on eye drops.
In Scotland, they have SIGN (Scottish Intercollegiate Guidelines Network), not NICE. It’s probable that SIGN guidelines will follow suit in due course.
The consultation is open to any adults with chronic open angle glaucoma or ocular hypertension, or who are at risk of developing glaucoma, their families and carers.
If you would like to offer your thoughts on the proposal, please email these to our helpline manager, Helen Doe, at H.Doe@glaucoma.uk by 3.00pm on Wednesday 1 December.
The full consultation documents are available to view on the NICE website.
Glaucoma UK CEO to step down from role in the New Year
Since 2016, Karen has played a critical role in the development, growth and success of the organisation. Karen has overseen the evolution of the charity from ‘The International Glaucoma Association’ to ‘Glaucoma UK’, modernised our exciting research grants program and expanded the organisation’s regional support provision. Under her leadership, the charity’s services have grown and become more easily accessible to all people living with glaucoma in the UK.
Our glaucoma helpline advisors are unavailable today due to illness. If you call our helpline today, you’ll speak to another member of our friendly staff team who will take a message and pass this on to our helpline advisors. Our helpline advisors will then call you back at the earliest opportunity. We apologise for any inconvenience caused.
Charities call on Government to make benefits and employment support fit for purpose for people with sight loss
As a coalition of sight loss charities, we are calling on the Government to make the benefit system and employment support fit for purpose for blind and partially sighted people.
The Department for Work and Pensions’ (DWPs) long-awaited consultation, Shaping Future Support: Health and Disability Green Paper, presents an important opportunity for the Government to hear from disabled people about their experiences of claiming benefits and receiving employment support. We hope the Government is listening and will be delivering far reaching changes....
If you could design a compliance aid to help you put your eye drops in, what problems would it be able to solve? We’ve just launched a new survey so you can tell us your ideas and share your experiences of using eye drops and compliance aids.
The survey should take no more than three minutes of your time to complete. The information you share will be hugely beneficial for us and the companies who design compliance aids....
A huge thank you to our London Marathon runners, Adam and Kate, who ran for Glaucoma UK and have collectively raised more than £2,000 so far for our charity.
Our runners joined more than 40,000 participants who ran the course from Blackheath to The Mall last weekend. After a particularly wet week, we are so pleased the weather held out for race day! Congratulations to you both for an incredible achievement.
Adam and Kate’s fundraising pages are still open for donations and we are sure they would appreciate any further support you can give....
This year’s National Eye Health Week (NEHW) will take place from 20 to 26 September 2021, promoting the importance of good eye health and the need for regular eye tests for all.
We’re delighted to be one of the many organisations supporting National Eye Health Week 2021. To celebrate, we need your help to raise awareness of the importance of good eye health and the need for regular eye tests.
Diseases and conditions such as glaucoma, macular degeneration and even diabetes and high cholesterol can be detected during eye tests. So it’s vital to get your eyes tested at least every two years....
Dr Paul GD Spry PhD MCOptom DipTp (IP) DipGlauc: 1971-2021
It is with great sadness that we share news of the untimely death of one of our highly valued Glaucoma UK Clinical Advisory Panel members, Dr Paul Spry.
Paul was Consultant Optometrist and Head of Optometry and the Department of Shared Care and Visual Electrophysiology at Bristol Eye Hospital. Throughout his career, he worked to develop and modernise care pathways, in particular for patients with glaucoma, by advocating multidisciplinary care provision. He contributed to this both directly within the Hospital Eye Service and also indirectly by involvement with professional role developments within optometry that support multidisciplinary care, such as design and delivery of specialist qualifications both in glaucoma and prescribing of medicines....
Originally published in the Spring 2021 edition of Insight, our quarterly membership magazine.
Eye drops… Love them or hate them, most people with glaucoma will use them at some time in their life. When used effectively, eye drops can help you self-manage your IOP (intraocular pressure) which in turn reduces the pressure on the optic nerve and helps to preserve sight.
Sounds simple enough right? Well, evidence from talking to people with glaucoma tells us that ‘simple’ is not a word that many use when talking about drops. Glaucoma eye drops can be an amazing self-management tool, but we speak regularly to people who have issues with putting them in, experience side effects, and struggle to keep on top of a sometimes complicated treatment routine....
Researchers investigate if protein in blood can prevent sight loss from glaucoma
Originally published in the Summer 2021 edition of Insight, our quarterly membership magazine.
Researchers funded by Glaucoma UK, Fight for Sight and The Spectacle Makers’ Charity, are investigating if a naturally occurring protein in the body can be used to prevent sight loss from glaucoma.
The study, taking place at Cardiff University, is exploring if a neuroprotective agent called Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor (BDNF) can be released in a controlled way from the blood when stimulated with an ultrasound as a targeted treatment for glaucoma....
Glaucoma UK supports campaign calling for Network Rail and the Department for Transport to address rail safety faster
Originally published in the Summer 2021 edition of Insight, our quarterly membership magazine.
In the last edition of Insight, we shared the sad news that Cleveland Gervais, a partially sighted man, was tragically killed last year by an oncoming train after falling from a platform without tactile paving at Eden Park Station in South East London.
A report by the Rail Accident Investigation Branch (RAIB), found that the lack of tactile surfacing was a likely key factor in Cleveland’s death....
Have you experienced selective laser trabeculoplasty (SLT)?
If you’ve experienced selective laser trabeculoplasty (SLT), the National Insight for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) would like to invite you to join their glaucoma diagnosis and treatment committee.
Recruitment is open until 5:00pm on Friday 30 July 2021, as the first meeting is scheduled for August. Lay members of the committee are paid a fee to attend meetings and they cover other expenses....
Can you help us make our information leaflets better? Join our readers’ panel!
We’re working on a project to make all our information leaflets better. We want them to be easier to read and understand, and to make sure they contain the information and advice that people with glaucoma really need.
To do this, we need a team of people with glaucoma, or people who care for them, to help us review our resources and give us feedback. Can you help by joining our readers’ panel? Full training and support will be given, and you only need to commit as much or as little time as you like, at a time that suits you....
Industrial action which directly affects DVLA’s contact centre services is taking place. During this time, we have been advised that it is best not to call the DVLA contact centre or use paper services.
Online services are available and are the quickest and easiest way to deal with the DVLA. For information and to access services, go to www.gov.uk/browse/driving.
“If glaucoma is genetic and runs in families, why am I the first person in my family to have the disease?”
If you have glaucoma but no one else in your family does, you may understandably wonder why, especially considering glaucoma is genetic and runs in families.
There are several reasons why this could have happened. Firstly, it could be that others in your family either had or have the disease, but it hasn’t been diagnosed. It’s possible that a grandmother who complained of poor sight in her old age actually had glaucoma. That’s why it’s important to remind your close relatives to get their eyes tested regularly.
Otherwise, it’s a question of genetics. Glaucoma is a family of diseases, with lots of different causes. If you have glaucoma, a few different parts of your eye are affected.
Lots of genes are involved in making these different parts of your eye and making the components within the cells to help them function normally....
Glaucoma Awareness Week takes place on 28 June – 4 July 2021 and this year’s theme is family and loved ones.
Glaucoma Awareness Week is an annual awareness-raising opportunity where we encourage people across the UK to talk about glaucoma. Over 700,000 people in the UK have glaucoma. Half of them don’t know they have it. We want to end preventable glaucoma sight loss and that starts with raising awareness of the disease.
Glaucoma Awareness Week is coordinated by us, Glaucoma UK. But it wouldn’t be possible without the people who come forward to give a face to our campaign and give a voice to the different experiences of the growing number of people in the UK with glaucoma. You can meet the amazing people who have shared their stories with us for Glaucoma Awareness Week 2021 here....
Glaucoma UK’s Board of Trustees is considering changing the charity’s membership model. The result would be that the trustees would become the only voting members.
The Board would continue to draw trustees from our membership and the people we support, and the charity would continue to provide opportunities for the people who use our services to influence how we deliver them.
The Glaucoma UK helpline will be closed for the Spring Bank Holiday from Friday 28th May 2021 at 3.30pm until Monday 31 May 2021 inclusive. We will resume normal working hours on Tuesday 1 June 2021 from 9.30am. If you are experiencing any problems with your eyes during this time, please contact your local hospital A&E department for advice.
When you’re faced with the news that you have a medical condition, whether it is an eye disease like glaucoma or something else, it’s natural to reflect on your lifestyle and see if there are any changes you can make to benefit your health. Our helpline sometimes receives calls asking about whether there are specific foods people can introduce into their diet to help with healthy vision.
What’s good for general health is also good for glaucoma patients: a balanced diet with the recommended five-a-day fruit and veg, regular exercise and not smoking. Drinking plenty of water is important to keep your body hydrated and can be especially beneficial for people who have dry eyes.
Lots of the minerals, vitamins and other chemicals in foods are thought to be beneficial for our vision. Here are some examples:
Please remember these will not improve the vision you have lost due to your glaucoma but consuming them might help you stay fit and healthy now and in the future. Also, proving the beneficial effects of certain chemicals is very difficult – research is ongoing, and we cannot say conclusively any food or chemical will prevent or protect against glaucoma or other vision loss. We have also listed a few herbs and spices which are recommended for good eye health. So, you can add them to your next shopping list!...
What is Glaucoma Awareness Week and why does it matter?
Glaucoma Awareness Week is an annual awareness-raising opportunity where we encourage people across the UK to talk about glaucoma. Over 700,000 people in the UK have glaucoma. Half of them don’t know they have it. We want to end preventable glaucoma sight loss and that starts with raising awareness of the disease.
Family and loved ones: what’s the story behind this year’s theme?
It’s been a year like no other and many people have been unable to be with their family and loved ones. So, with the timing of Glaucoma Awareness Week 2021 falling just as the restrictions are being lifted across the UK, we wanted to celebrate the opportunity to come together while also sharing important information that could help save sight.
Firstly, we’re raising awareness of the family link with the disease. Did you know that someone has at least a four-times higher risk of developing glaucoma if they have a close blood relative who has it? So, if you have glaucoma, you should tell your relatives as they need to have their sight tested regularly.
Secondly, we’re starting a conversation about how we can support family members who are caring for someone with glaucoma. When someone you care about is diagnosed with glaucoma, our support services, and information resources can help you understand the disease better.
New cookbook for the visually impaired available to order
Glaucoma UK friend and author Simon Mahoney whose book ‘A Descent into Darkness’ we have previously featured on our website, has written another book ‘First Catch Your Rabbit! Or Cooking Without Fear’. It’s full of delicious recipes hints and tips and fabulous support ideas to help blind and partially sighted people make meals independently. You can purchase it on our website here.
Having served in the Royal Marines in the 1960s, Simon developed glaucoma at the age of 66 and completely lost his sight three years ago He found support from several charities, including Glaucoma UK.
“Glaucoma UK has helped me remain positive when adapting to life with sight loss. The charity gave me practical guidance and information as well as listening to my concernsMy sight loss was preventable. I missed vital check-ups I didn’t have an eye test for about two years and when I did it was too late, I’d lost significant sight. Sight loss happens all too easily as we look through our eyes and not at them and therefore we tend to ignore them.”...
Need to speak to the DVLA? Use their digital services to avoid delays
The Public and Commercial Services (PCS) union has formally notified the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) that they are asking their members to take strike action between Tuesday 6April and Friday 9 April 2021. It is not clear at this stage what the impact of this action will be, should it go ahead.
The DVLA have put contingency measures in place to mitigate the impact on paper application services if the strike action goes ahead. Their online services will remain available should strike action occur,and are the quickest way to interact with the DVLA.
Where possible, if you need assistance from the DVLA, please use their digital services to avoid any unnecessary delays.
The following aids are available free on prescription and you will be able to find them at a number of different outlets. We have listed some retailers below, but you may also find them available elsewhere:
Seven-year-old Kasper Mason recently got in touch to share the fantastic poster he drew for Glaucoma UK as part of his homeschooling work. His mum, Philippa, believes it’s important to teach children about looking after their eyes from a young age, in the hope they carry this habit on into adult life.
Philippa, who works as a Development Manager for Glaucoma UK, said “Kasper is currently being homeschooled due to the COVID-19 lockdown, and one of the tasks for his Health and Wellbeing class was to research a charity and design a poster for them. Kasper decided that he wanted to do one for Glaucoma UK.”...
Could peer support help you live well with glaucoma?
Whether you’re newly diagnosed or have lived with glaucoma for years, talking to others who are living with glaucoma is a great way to share your experiences. It gives you support from people who really understand how you are feeling. Under normal circumstances, these conversations would usually take place in hospital waiting rooms or at a patient event. However, the COVID-19 restrictions and social distancing means that such opportunities aren’t currently possible.
Because of this, we’d like to pilot a digital peer-to-peer support group, where you can meet a small number of people online or by phone to have a chat, share your experiences and ask questions....
Up for a challenge to kick start 2021? Then why not apply for one of our London Marathon places. Find out more and register your interest here and be a sight saving hero for people living with glaucoma.
COVID is changing the face of glaucoma care in the UK at a scale and speed that we’ve never seen before. We want to make sure that the patient voice is heard, and that people living with glaucoma get the chance to influence these changes. Please take 10 minutes to complete our survey and share your experiences and views with us, and we’ll make sure they’re shared with commissioners and policy makers.
Our glaucoma helpline will be closed from 2:00pm on Friday 18 December 2020 until 9:30am on Monday 4 January 2021 for the festive period. If you need to speak to someone when our helpline is closed, these contacts may be helpful:...
Consultant Ophthalmic Surgeon at University Hospitals Birmingham (UHB) NHS Foundation Trust, Professor Pete Shah, has succeeded Mr James Kirwan as UKEGS President. Professor Gus Gazzard, Consultant Ophthalmic Surgeon and Director of glaucoma service at Moorfields Eye Hospital, has become President-elect.
The announcements were made as part of the UKEGS annual conference, which was held on 27 November 2020 and took place digitally due to current COVID-19 restrictions.
UKEGS, which forms part of Glaucoma UK, is a non-profit national scientific society. It aims to promote the exchange of knowledge between glaucoma specialists, stimulate glaucoma research and protect the interests of people living with glaucoma, or at risk of developing the disease.
Professor Shah is also Co-Director at the Birmingham Institute for Glaucoma Research, and recently became a Glaucoma UK Trustee. He said: “I am thrilled to take up the roles of UKEGS President and Trustee, and consider it a great honour be able to serve in these roles. I look forward to working with James Kirwan as UKEGS past-President and our new President-elect, Gus Gazzard. The next several years will bring transformations in glaucoma care that will enable us to protect our patients with increasing certainty. Looking after our patients and looking after our specialists goes hand-in-hand – each is the other’s best advocate. By working together, we will get more resources to help serve glaucoma patients and continue on our journey to making glaucoma blindness a thing of the past.”
Professor Gazzard is UCL Professor of Glaucoma Studies and a member of Glaucoma UK’s Clinical Advisory Panel. He commented: “I am delighted to have been asked to be President-elect of UKEGS. I look forward to promoting our speciality and helping to bring together all of those interested in and affected by glaucoma to make glaucoma care in the UK the best it can possibly be.”
Glaucoma UK’s Chief Executive Karen Osborn stated: “We are pleased to welcome Pete and Gus as President and President-elect of UKEGS, and look forward to working with them closely over the coming year. UKEGS is a vital platform which allows glaucoma specialists to come together and share their work and expertise in glaucoma care. I have no doubt that Pete and Gus’ vast knowledge and experience in the area will ensure that the strong UKEGS leadership we have enjoyed over the last few years will continue. Their appointments ensure the Society will thrive in its mission to promote knowledge exchange and foster the interests of people living with glaucoma.”
We’d like to recognise the professionals or volunteers who make a real difference to the lives of people living with glaucoma. So we’re asking for nominations for our ‘Excellence in Glaucoma Care Awards 2020’.
You can nominate an individual or team from any field of glaucoma care, maybe someone who provided just the right information at the right time, or someone who gave you time and emotional support when you needed it most. It could be an excellent surgeon or nurse, an optometrist who gave you sight-saving advice, a volunteer who runs a great Support Group, or someone who’s made a breakthrough in glaucoma research.
To nominate someone who has made a real difference to you, please either email or write and tell us:...
Ganfort eye drops packaging – what’s been your experience?
Our Helpline has recently received a call from one of our members who has experienced great difficulty in removing the plastic seal covering the cap from Ganfort eye drops. The seal is very hard and the tag breaks off.
Allergan UK, who manufacture the drops, are looking into the issue. If you have experienced the same difficulties, please get in touch with Allergan UK on 0808 238 1500 or email firstname.lastname@example.org to report the problem. A solution may be found if they are aware that it is a widespread issue, so it will be helpful for them to have feedback from a variety of people.
Response from Allergan UK:
” Allergan (an Abbvie company) appreciates your feedback regarding our product packaging. We will always do our utmost to ensure patients have the best possible experience when using our products. We have ensured this feedback has been passed on to our manufacturing and design teams to support continuous improvements, whilst also understanding the complexity of manufacturing and the need for it to follow strict regulatory and quality control processes.”
Our new weekly lottery has launched today and is giving you the chance to win up to £25,000 every Friday! Could it be you?
For just £1 a week you’ll have the chance to win £25,000 every week. There are also smaller prizes of £1,000, £25 and five entries into the next draw. Having one number will give you a 1 in 63 chance of winning a prize each Friday.
Every entry you play in the Glaucoma UK Lottery will help to raise funds for sight-saving research and to support people living with glaucoma. So what are you waiting for? To find out more and join online, click here.
Opticians are remaining open and can see you safely during lockdown
With COVID-19 restrictions already in place in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, the Government has announced new national restrictions in England, effective from Thursday 5 November. It is hoped these restrictions will help to reduce the spread of the virus. Opticians are classed as essential healthcare providers, so you can still visit them for eye appointments during this period.
Your local opticians are taking every precaution to provide a safe and secure environment for their staff and customers during these unsettling times. To ensure maximum safety, they are taking all the steps needed to adhere to the required cleanliness and hygiene standards in all stores. Social distancing measures have also been put in place. All staff will be equipped with PPE, and there should be signage around the store to help guide and direct you safely.
Please help your local store by attending your appointment alone if possible, bringing your own pen, and wearing a face covering or mask.
If you have specific questions about an existing appointment or want to book an eye appointment, you should contact your local opticians directly.
If you have any concerns, our glaucoma helpline team are always here to support you. You can reach them on 01233 64 81 70 or email@example.com. Lines are open Monday to Friday, 9:30am to 5:00pm.
With Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland already living under nation-specific lockdown levels, England will be entering a nation-wide lockdown from Thursday 5 November. We have received many calls from people living with glaucoma who are concerned that their treatment and upcoming procedures may be disrupted or cancelled during this time.
In response to these concerns, we have reached out to a number of glaucoma consultants for their feedback. They anticipate that appointments will continue, however should hospital admissions for coronavirus rapidly increase then ophthalmology staff may be redeployed to the COVID-19 wards. These will be junior staff in a first instance, to allow consultants to continue seeing their patients and proceed with any upcoming surgeries.
The intention is still to provide a level of service where possible, therefore if you have been told that you have an appointment, this will hopefully still stand. But should COVID-19 numbers rise sharply, there is a possibility that some appointments and surgeries may be cancelled due to more ophthalmology staff being needed on the COVID-19 wards.
As per the first lockdown, individuals will be assessed and priority given to urgent cases.
If you have any concerns or need advice, particularly during these uncertain times, our glaucoma helpline team are always here to support you. You can reach them on 01233 64 81 70 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Lines are open Monday to Friday, 9:30am to 5:00pm.
People with glaucoma can usually fly on an airplane without any problems.
Controlled air pressure inside the airplane’s cabin makes up for most of the natural drop in pressure when the plane reaches higher altitudes. A moderate decrease in atmospheric pressure will not cause an obvious rise in eye pressure.
It is always advisable to put your glaucoma drops in your hand-luggage when travelling. The air inside a plane can be dry. If you have ocular surface disease (dry eyes), or are on a long-haul flight, you may need to put drops in while in the air....
We, at Glaucoma UK, hope you are keeping on top of your eye health and we are here to help and support you. To celebrate World Sight Day, you could become a member of Glaucoma UK.
Becoming part of our glaucoma community as a member means you will receive a welcome pack and our quarterly membership magazine delivered to your door. You’ll also receive email invites to events we think will interest you and information about support available to help you and others live well with glaucoma. We’ll send you email communications about glaucoma research and campaigns.
Each year Glaucoma UK provide a range of research funding opportunities. Earlier in the year we announced up to £100,000 is available for a PhD Studentship to start in 2021. There is only one month to go before the closing date for applications, 30 October 2020.
We welcome proposals that are hypothesis driven, innovative, involve high quality scientific methodologies and are supported by robust preliminary data.
The award will be made on a fully competitive and peer reviewed basis.
Applications will be assessed according to scientific merit, the likelihood of a conclusive outcome, potential impact, quality of supporting evidence and value for money. The project should also include high quality training and development opportunities for the PhD student.
Radio 4 In Touch: Glaucoma UK experts answer your questions
Karen Osborn, Chief Executiveat Glaucoma UK, and Gus Gazzard, Consultant Ophthalmic Surgeon at Moorfields Eye hospital and member of Glaucoma UK’s Clinical Advisory Panel will be answering listeners’ questions about glaucoma tonight (22 September 2020) on Radio 4’s In Touch at 8:40 pm.
Karen and Gus will answer listener’s concerns and questionson glaucoma topics including information about glaucoma medication shortages after the Brexit transition and information about laser treatment.
Tune in to Radio 4s In Touch programme this evening to hear the discussion or listen on-demand after the show here.
We’re launching a new campaign for National Eye Health Week (21 – 27 September 2020) to give people living with glaucoma and dry eye disease confidence that their diagnosis shouldn’t hold them back from taking part in digital activities.
We would love to hear your opinions and experiences of attending virtual glaucoma clinics during lockdown. How is the experience different to normal? What is good, bad or just worth commenting on? Please send comments to email@example.com.
Are you interested in getting involved in filming discussions? This is for a series of webinars we’re doing, presenting patients’ experiences. You would be paired with someone else who has glaucoma, and have a guided conversation about your experiences of having glaucoma and attending appointments/receiving treatment etc. It would take around 2 hours of your time, and be done via Zoom or other video chat software. If interested or to find out more, contact Joanna Bradley on firstname.lastname@example.org.
We’re also doing work on improving our booklets and other written information to make them easier to read. We need input from people with glaucoma to ensure we’re explaining everything really clearly and simply. To get involved, please contact email@example.com. If you ever find health information (provided by Glaucoma UK, doctors or anyone else) difficult to read, we especially want to hear from you!
Interview | Sore eyes from screens? Here's what your optometrist says
Thanks to the coronavirus lockdown, lots of our usual activity is now taking place via screen, from keeping in touch with friends and family, through to collective worship and yoga sessions. You might be concerned about the impact all this screen time has on your eyesight, particularly if you have a diagnosed disease like glaucoma or dry eye disease (DED). Fortunately, neither condition should stop you from enjoying any screen-based activity.
Joanna Bradley, Head of Support Services at Glaucoma UK, spoke to Stephen Epstein, optometrist, glaucoma patient and the vice-chair of Glaucoma UK, to find out more.
How does the use of screens affect your eyesight, if at all?
When you’re looking at a screen and concentrating, you blink less often and, sometimes, less completely. Your eyes constantly make a tear film which nourishes the front surface of the eye. When you blink the tear film is spread over your eye. If you’re not blinking enough, the front of your eye can start to feel uncomfortable....
During July, the EU agreed to grant a 7-month extension to drivers whose photocard licence or entitlement to drive expired between 1 February and 31 August 2020.
The DVLA is pleased to advise that the EU has agreed to increase the catchment period to 31 December 2020 and increase the extension period from 7 months to 11 months. This means that drivers whose photocard or entitlement expires between 1 February 2020 and 31 December 2020 now have an 11-month extension from the date of expiry. Please see table below:
Drivers do not need to take any action as the extension will be automatic. Drivers do not need to renew their licence until they receive a reminder before their extension expires.
UPDATE: Places now allocated. If you’re interested in taking part in future running events please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Have you or anyone you know ever wanted to run the London Marathon? Well now’s the chance – well, sort of. The physical event is cancelled for non- Elite participants but as this year is the 40th anniversary of the ‘World’s best marathon’, organisers are offering a virtual race on 4th October. It’s the marathon but with a twist.
Participants will have 24 hours to complete the 26.2 miles in their garden, park, usual running route, etc from 00:00 to 23:59 on Sunday 4 October.
They can run, walk, take breaks and log their race on a new London Marathon app. We can request places in this virtual event for runners to take part and raise funds in this landmark, 40th race. ...
Moorfields: Proposed new centre for eye care, research and education
Today sees the launch of a public planning consultation, which sets out the early designs for the new centre for eye care, research and education. As we progress our plans, we want your views on these early designs. This feedback will be essential in helping us design a centre that is modern, fit for purpose and accessible for users.
“I’ve enjoyed cycling for years – it’s a great way to explore the countryside, visit lovely places and get some exercise. I’ve also done some cycling holidays in the past, including through Central America and South East Asia – nothing helps you soak up a landscape like pedalling through it. Doing exercise is a key part of staying healthy, and there’s some evidence that regular exercise can help lower eye pressure – so hopefully I can look after my eye health at the same time.”
“The money we help raise will ensure we can continue to support people with glaucoma, raise awareness of the disease and fund research into its prevention, causes and treatment. Can you pledge to join me, by getting out on 15-16 August for some exercise or donating some money to help save sight?”
Joanna – Head of Support Services- Glaucoma UK
Update on developments regarding DVLA’s driving licence services.
As a result of the impact of the COVID19 pandemic, Ministers at the Department for Transport have agreed to adopt a temporary measure to assist drivers in complying with the driving licence renewal requirements.
To make it easier for drivers who need to renew their photocard licence or their entitlement to drive, where their licence expires between 1 February 2020 and 31 August 2020, they will now have a 7-month extension from the date of expiry. This means that they will not need to renew their photocard or entitlement to drive until seven months after the original expiry date. The extension is automatic so drivers do not need to take any action. The driver record will show the current expiry date on the driving licence, the record will be updated once an application is made to renew the licence at the end of the extension period. At the end of the extension period they will be sent a renewal reminder form to complete.
If a driver has already applied online to renew their photocard this will be processed as normal.
This extension applies to all full licence renewal applications including short period medical licence and lorry and/or bus renewals. However, it does not apply to provisional driving licences or where the licence needs to be renewed following a disqualification.
By law, all drivers must ensure that they always meet the medical standards for fitness to drive when driving. Information about driving with a medical condition is available on GOV.UK . If a driver has already applied to DVLA to renew their photocard or their entitlement, they can continue to drive while DVLA is considering their application, providing they have not been told by their doctor or optician that they should not drive.
Watch our digital support group about glaucoma eye drops
The way we are meeting and interacting is changing. That’s why we recently launch our new series of digital glaucoma support groups. Information, advice and support is now just a video meeting away. Watch the recording our our latest support group below. And, sign up to attend one of our upcoming meetings to have your questions answered.
Our latest digital support group was hosted by Dr Laura Crawley who spoke about about glaucoma eye drops and answered questions from those who had signed up to attend. Watch it here:
Glaucoma UK professional members make The Ophthalmologist Power List 2020
Ophthalmologists from around the world have been recognised in a list of the most influential people in the world of ophthalmology and we are very proud to congratulate Prof David (Ted) Garway-Heath (Glaucoma UK’s own professor) on making the top 10. Prof Garway-Heath is joined on the power list by Prof Gus Gazzard, who is an active member of our clinical advisory panel.
The Ophthalmologist Power List 2020 honours clinicians, scientists and engineers who have made a significant contribution to their field.
Each nomination celebrates an individual who has made a lasting impact on the field, whether that is through a philanthropic initiative or their ongoing commitment to innovation.
Are you worried about your glaucoma? Concerned about a cancelled or delayed appointment? Or do you just want to understand it a little better? Want to hear from some experts and have a chance to ask your questions? We know this is a really scary time for many people, and we want to provide you with the support and advice you need.
We are running a series of digital glaucoma support groups. Like a traditional support group, which unfortunately have been cancelled due to COVID-19, there will be a talk by a glaucoma expert and a Glaucoma UK staff member and an opportunity to ask questions.
The COVID-19 pandemic is changed the landscape of eye care services hugely. With non-essential hospital services on hold and most people with glaucoma self-isolating due to their age, the face to face care and support available to people with glaucoma has decreased enormously. Routine, non-emergency operations such as trabeculectomies have been delayed, meaning people may be facing an increased risk of sight loss. All glaucoma support groups have been cancelled or postponed indefinitely. We are aware this is an incredibly stressful time for many, and we want to ensure advice and support are available to all who want it.
We have decided to run a series of digital glaucoma support groups. Like a traditional support group, there would be a talk and an opportunity for people to ask any questions they have. We hope to run these with Glaucoma UK staff as well as external experts, such as an optometrist. Each webinar will follow a different theme, for example:...
We are all facing an unprecedented amount of uncertainty at the moment, and with it being Mental Health Awareness Week (18-24 May) we want to assure you that we are here for you no matter what challenges you are facing in the current pandemic. You are not alone.
We will be changing our name to Glaucoma UK in summer 2020.
What’s in a name? Well, as it turns out, a lot. The decision to change our name follows lengthy discussions with patients and professionals about how we can reach more people affected by glaucoma in the UK. When we reviewed the evidence, we found that our current name is holding us back: many people don’t realise we are a charity, and many don’t think we offer support services to people in the UK.
That means we aren’t able to help them. Our members and supporters overwhelmingly felt the name ‘International Glaucoma Association’ doesn’t accurately describe what we do....
The coronavirus pandemic is impacting all NHS services, and eye services are no exception.
If the situation is causing you stress or anxiety, we’re here to support you. We know that as a nation, we need to support the NHS at this time and we understand there will be sacrifices, but we also know that this isn’t always easy to cope with. You don’t need to cope alone. If you’d like to talk to someone just call our glaucoma helpline on 01233 64 81 70 from Monday to Friday, 9:30am – 5:00pm....
In light of the continued spread of Coronavirus (COVID-19), the UK government has advised the public to avoid unnecessary travel and avoid contact with others.
Following this advice we have cancelled all upcoming IGA patient conferences and IGA-organised Glaucoma Support Groups. We know it may come as a disappointment, but it is necessary for the safety and wellbeing of patients and staff.
If you attend other support groups organised by hospitals and other organisations, please be aware that these will also be affected.
Our glaucoma helpline remains open and our advisors can provide advice and support as always. The helpline is open Monday-Friday from 09:30 to 17:00 on 01233 64 81 70.
World Glaucoma Week 2020 survey. The results are in...
As part of our World Glaucoma Week campaign, we asked people to tell us about how their glaucoma was first detected.
The majority of those who responded to our survey had glaucoma detected via an eye test at an optician – just over three quarters. For over 65% this was via a free NHS sight test – a clear indicator of how vital free eye tests are to detecting conditions like glaucoma....
Chloe is off on her amazing adventure on Friday 14 February. Together with Dad, Sean, she’ll be bravely setting off on the challenging 150km winter crossing of Lake Baikal in Eastern Siberia. The lake is the oldest and deepest lake in the world and will take them just under seven days to cross. They will have to pull sledges loaded with their equipment and supplies with them. Chloe was diagnosed with glaucoma when she was 12 and her nan also has the disease, which is why she is raising money and hopes that one day there will be a cure.
‘My dad and I will be walking 100 miles across frozen lake Baikal. We will be camping on the ice and using sledges to carry our equipment. Being diagnosed at such a young age was a huge shock, not only for myself but also my family. Not many people realise that children can also suffer from this condition and it is not as rare as people may think. Having visited the children’s glaucoma hospital in London on numerous occasions, I was surprised to see the wide age range of children attending the clinic. Due to the wonderful care of my consultant my condition is stable, and I have the opportunity to travel the world and see amazing things, but I am sure this is not the case for many. Therefore, I am trying raise as much money as possible for this charity so the wonderful work they do can continue and maybe one day there will be a cure.’...
IGA Professor David (Ted) Garway-Heath receives national and international awards for his glaucoma work
We are delighted to share news of IGA Professor David Garway-Heath’s recent international and national awards from the American Glaucoma Society (AGS) and the UK Advisory Committee on Clinical Excellence Awards (ACCEA).
Our friends at City, University of London are recruiting…
Acting as a point of contact for the students that use the Clinical Skills and Dispensing laboratories, you will be responsible for loaning equipment out to students and maintaining a log. You may be required to coordinate unsupervised group sessions for students. You will be required to keep the laboratories neat and tidy, ensuring all equipment and registers are locked away at the end of the shift. You will also be responsible for ensuring the laboratories are locked at the end of the shift.
The role is term-time and you will be required to start at 4.30pm. The hours will vary as follows:
From 17th February to 20th March you will work from 4.30 to 6.00pm for 5 weeks
From 23rd March to 3rd April you will work from 4.30 to 5.00pm for 2 weeks...
The new IGA Award for Excellence in Glaucoma Care 2019
This is our new reader-nominated award, to recognise professionals or volunteers who make a real difference to the lives of people living with the condition.
AND THE WINNER IS…
Gus Gazzard and the LiGHT team at Moorfields Eye Hospital
Nominated by Joseph Ross from Hertfordshire.
The award was presented by IGA Chair Prof Philip Bloom at the 2019 UK & Eire Glaucoma Society conference in Glasgow, in front of around 200 other glaucoma specialists. You can read Jospeh Ross’ nomination below.
“In 2013, with glaucoma diagnosed in both eyes, I was referred to Moorfields and invited to participate in the LiGHT Team’s investigation of the relative impact and efficacy of eye drop treatment compared with laser treatment. I was one of several hundred patients and many of us became familiar faces to each other. The professionalism of everyone in the team, in all capacities, was matched by a degree of care and sensitivity which has been exemplary. Test results were fully explained, options discussed, and I felt fully engaged in all decision-making.
When surgical intervention was considered necessary, I was supported and advised at every point and the follow-up care was exceptionally thorough.
I was provided with contact details for my key optometrist, Neil Nathwani, and he has given me personal support and advice throughout. Mr Gazzard not only gave me the benefit of his superb surgical skill but explained fully what procedures were being pursued and the reasons for them. I feel that he knows his patients and takes a personal interest in them. On one occasion, leaving the hospital after an appointment, walking down Old Street, he recognised and greeted my wife and me, despite being out of the usual context.
I have been very fortunate in having my treatment and care in the hands of such a team. I know that the patients involved with the Light Team have benefited from an outstanding combination of medical excellence and personal engagement.I am very glad to have this opportunity to nominate all of the team for this award.
In my view, what makes this team stand out is their ability to work together so effectively, carrying out such valuable research, while also treating all their patients as individuals whose specific needs are seen as the priority at all times.”
We were so taken with two other nominations that we also presented them with Certificates of Appreciation at the conference. The first went to James Kirwan and the team at the eye department in Queen Alexandra Hospital, Portsmouth, who were nominated by Elizabeth French. The other award went to Ms Angela James, Lead Pharmacist at the Princess Alexandra Eye Pavilion, Edinburgh. Angela was nominated by Dr Pankaj Agarwal, Consultant Ophthalmologist at the Eye Pavilion.
We will resume our usual operating hours from Thursday 2 January 2020, where our helpline advisors will be able to listen to your concerns, answer your questions and provide sound advice on protecting your sight....
Every 20 minutes, someone is killed or seriously injured on a British road and each of these tragedies is preventable.
This Road Safety Week (18-24 November) BRAKE want everyone to “Step up for Safe Streets” and learn about, shout about and celebrate the amazing design-led solutions that will allow us all to get around in safe and healthy ways, every day....
Study finds sight is most valuable sense to UK public
A new study has revealed that the UK public think sight is the most valuable sense.
Researchers from the Crabb Lab at City, University of London surveyed a cross-section of 250 adults from the UK and asked them to rank how highly they valued each of eight human senses relative to the others....
Subhash Suthar, Development Manager at the IGA, wins new David Burt OBE Award 2019
Our colleague Subhash Suthar, and his contribution to the sight loss community, was recognised on 9 October 2019 when he became the first recipient of the new David Burt OBE Award 2019 at the Vision UK awards.
The IGA is pleased to be supporting the 100 Voices campaign, a patient experience initiative for eye services.
EyesWise is an NHS project that aims to save sight and improve lives. Since April 2018, work has been underway in hospital eye services across the country to streamline and speed up outpatient treatment for patients at highest risk of sight loss. As part of EyesWise we are now launching the 100 Voices campaign to find out what it feels like to use those services....
We're supporting the Vision and Eye Health Campaign from @HealthAwarenessUK.
Learn more about the importance of eye health and how to safeguard your sight from key thought leaders like David Cartwright, Optometrist and Chairman, Eye Health UK: For further information click here.
Our Head of Patient Support Services, Joanne Bradley, has also contributed an article explaining dyr eye disease, something that can be associated with glaucoma. The read her article click here.
If you came along to our AGM back in March you may have heard the IGA Professor of Glaucoma, Ted Garway-Heath talk about plans to relocate Moorfields. A public consultation was held and this is the IGA response:
The IGA supports Moorfields proposal to move services to a new site near St Pancras. The current site at City Road is dated, and no longer fit for purpose. Patients find the site cramped and as a result, appointments are more stressful than they might otherwise be....
The IGA and UKEGS are pleased to invite applications up to £60,000 to fund high quality research that enhances the detection and treatment of glaucoma in order to improve the quality of life for patients.
We will consider applications for clinical and laboratory-based research projects into the causes and prevention, early detection, diagnosis, treatment or improving the quality of life of people of all ages living with glaucoma and allied conditions....
Interventional Procedures Programme: Non invasive focused ultrasound for the treatment of glaucoma
NICE is carrying out a project on the procedure ‘Non invasive focused ultrasound for the treatment of glaucoma’. We are looking at how well the procedure is working and if it is safe enough to be used more widely in the NHS in the future....
Congratulations to Professor David (Ted) Garway-Heath
We are delighted to announce that Professor David (Ted) Garway-Heath, IGA Professor of Ophthalmology for Glaucoma and Allied Studies, has been voted Top Mentor worldwide in the 2019 ‘power list’ from the Ophthalmologist: https://theophthalmologist.com/power-list/2019
Click on the image to read his short interview....
The International Glaucoma Association (IGA) and Santen Produce Unique ‘Eye Test’ for World Glaucoma Week
The International Glaucoma Association (IGA) and specialist ophthalmology company Santen Pharmaceutical Co Ltd, have joined forces to produce a unique interactive ‘eye test’ to demonstrate what the world looks like to people living with glaucoma. The test is part of a joint campaign to raise awareness of the eye condition among younger first-degree relatives of older people most likely to develop glaucoma.
The test will be posted on IGA and Santen social channels (Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn) and on their respective websites in time for World Glaucoma Week, 10-16 March 2019. The quiz consists of a series of intriguing questions where images are shown that simulate missing objects and cloudy vision which are the hallmark of glaucoma, and leads to more information about glaucoma.
It is estimated that there are 700,000 people with glaucoma in the UK today, but half are undiagnosed. If left untreated glaucoma can lead to serious loss of vision, with up to 40 per cent of sight being permanently lost before the effects are noticed by the individual. Once sight is lost it cannot be recovered. Glaucoma is the most common cause of preventable blindness. Many people are unaware that glaucoma has no symptoms in the early stages, so regular eye health checks (every two years, or every 1-2 years for over 40s, especially where there is a family history of glaucoma) are really important to detect the condition. Early diagnosis and regular treatment, usually with eye drops, can preserve vision and enable people to carry on with their lives.
Commenting on the initiative, Karen Osborn, CEO of the IGA says: “We’re delighted to be partnering with Santen in creating this unique quiz to raise awareness of glaucoma among a younger audience. By reaching people via their social channels in a visually impactful way, we hope to create a lasting impression of what glaucoma sight loss looks like, so they can be aware of early symptoms among older relatives and can encourage regular eye checks to pick up the condition early.”...
We are delighted to announce that abstract submission and registration for the 2019 conference are now open. The UKÉGS is due to be held on 21st and 22nd November 2019 at Glasgow Science Centre. For further information, or to register your attendance, please click here.
The IGA is supporting the new NICE quality standards for serious eye disorders, covering the diagnosis and management of glaucoma and other eye conditions. Read the full standard here https://www.nice.org.uk/guidance/qs180
Are you passionate about driving and road safety? Do you have an interest in medical conditions and their impact on safe driving? Maybe you’ve got experience as a carer or doing voluntary work? If you do, then the DVLA would love to hear from you!
The DVLA are currently recruiting for lay members for their medical panels, including those for visual disorders. For more information, please visit the Civil Service Jobs website.
IGA Glaucoma Patient Conference, Newcastle 2018- 30th November 2018
Invitation to an IGA Glaucoma Patient Conference, Newcastle 2018
Following the success of our Annual Lectures in London earlier in the year, we decided to hold a similar event for our members in the North East area, and I’m delighted to invite you to join us at a Patient Conference on Friday 30 November at The Great Hall, Sutherland Building, Northumbria University, Newcastle upon Tyne....
Rural isolation and bad transport links were one of the reasons why Devon in Sight decided to take their services out into the community by creating Community Sight Loss Hubs.
They now have regular ‘Talk and Support Groups’ over a dozen locations across the county where clients have the opportunity to meet with others with sight loss, hear about the services available for them in their community and receive specialist training....
Following the success of our Annual Lectures in London earlier in the year, we have decided to hold a similar event for our members in the North West, and we are delighted to announce that there will be a Patient Conference on Tuesday 16 October at the Holiday Inn Manchester City Centre, Aytoun Street M1 3AE.
The event starts at 2.30pm with a lecture from Mr Leon Au, Consultant Ophthalmic Surgeon at the Manchester Royal Eye Hospital (MREH), who will be speaking about new advances in glaucoma treatment. Following on, Cecilia Fenerty, Consultant Ophthalmic Surgeon at MREH will talk about the changing face of glaucoma care in the UK. The afternoon will finish with a Q&A panel where you will be able to put questions to Leon, Cecilia and other leading glaucoma experts. There will also be a drinks reception from 5pm to 6.30pm....
Brake joins forces with police to rid roads of defective driver vision
Road safety charity Brake is teaming up with police forces in Thames Valley, Hampshire and West Midlands to run a month-long campaign on driver vision, revoking the licences of those who don’t pass the 20m number plate check.
IGA comments on use of AI for eye disease detection
Karen Osborn, Chief Executive “These are exciting results and there is no doubt that AI will play a role in the detection and monitoring of glaucoma. The use of technology to reduce the stress on hospital services and help optometrists with referral will ensure that people are correctly prioritised and appropriate treatment is commenced”.
We are delighted to have received some funding from the National Lottery. This contribution will help us work more efficiently in providing support to people within their local community. Thank you to the players for helping to prevent glaucoma sight loss.
National Tariff Consultation June 2018 – RCOphth, RNIB, IGA and Macular Society collaborate on response
In preparation for the National Tariff Consultation due to be released 14 June 2018, The Royal College of Ophthalmologists and patient organisations; Royal National Institute for the Blind (RNIB), International Glaucoma Association (IGA) and the Macular Society, have collaborated on key messages that will be used in response to the consultation. This group have written to NHS Improvement to make them aware of:
The key messages from The Royal College of Ophthalmologists and our partner patient organisations are outlined below and we encourage patients and medical and healthcare professionals working in the hospital eye services to respond to the upcoming National Tariff Consultation. The Royal College of Ophthalmologists encourages our members to either respond to the consultation or provide comments and feedbackto Laura Coveney, Policy Researcher, email@example.com...
High level Education Strategic Review consultation responses show support for new education approach
The GOC has published some high level findings from its Education Strategic Review concepts and principles consultation.
The high level summary publication shows 97 per cent of respondents agreed with the development of new education standards for optometrists and dispensing opticians. 82 per cent agreed with embedding clinical experience progressively from the start of education programmes....
Moorfields appoints IGA trustee, Nick Strouthidis as its new medical director
26 February 2018
Moorfields Eye Hospital NHS Foundation Trust has appointed Nick Strouthidis to the post of medical director. Currently a consultant ophthalmologist in Moorfields’ glaucoma service and the glaucoma service director, Nick has worked for the Trust since 2002.
Nick began his career at Moorfields as a research fellow to the glaucoma research unit and completed most of his training at Moorfields as both a registrar and a clinical glaucoma fellow. His clinical interests cover all aspects of adult glaucoma, particularly new surgical treatments. Alongside corneal consultant colleague Mark Wilkins, he runs the UK’s first integrated clinic for patients undergoing keratoprostheses, a surgical procedure to replace a diseased cornea with an artificial cornea.
Nick was appointed to this pivotal role following a rigorous recruitment process, involving external stakeholders.
Nick Strouthidis said:
“It is an honour to take on the role of medical director at Moorfields Eye Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, an organisation that has shaped my professional life. I will work hard with our incredible staff to ensure we succeed in delivering our five-year strategy to work with patients and partners to discover, develop and deliver the best eye care.”
The search for a new medical director began in response to outgoing medical director Declan Flanagan stepping down after eight years to focus on his clinical practice. Declan will continue to serve as medical director until August, when Nick takes up the post. After that, Declan will remain with the trust as a consultant ophthalmologist in the medical retina service, where he specialises in the treatment of retinal diseases.
David Probert, chief executive of Moorfields Hospital NHS Foundation Trust said:
“I look forward to Nick joining the executive team at Moorfields and congratulate him on his appointment. I am incredibly grateful for Declan’s exceptional leadership throughout his time as medical director.”
Declan Flanagan said: “Spending the past eight years as Moorfields’ medical director has been a privilege. I am proud that, despite growing demand for our services, our clinical outcomes continue to be among the best in the world.”
Fight for Sight announces 13 new awards to fund vital eye research
Fight for Sight partners with nine different organisations to fund impactful and innovative research
Fight for Sight, the leading eye research charity, has awarded grants totalling over £180,000 for thirteen vital research projects in partnership with nine different organisations. Fight for Sight has doubled its partnership working from the previous year, to further extend their impact and support for innovative research....
IGA wins commendation at Ophthalmology Awards 2017
The IGA together with Princess Alexander Eye Pavilion, NHS Lothian receives a commendation for a local patient-led support group for Scotland aimed at reaching out to patients to improve awareness of glaucoma in the community.
‘Glaucoma Support Edinburgh’ was formed by a group of patients to address several unmet needs as the NHS now believe patients should take responsibility for their own health, and a support group/forum where patients can build their knowledge is an aid to this goal. The initiative began by recruiting a small group of patients, representatives from the International Glaucoma Association (IGA) and glaucoma specialists from the Princess Alexandra Eye Pavilion, to form a project steering committee....
Hospital eye clinics across the UK have never been so busy. Increasing numbers of our members are facing delayed or cancelled appointments, which is understandably causing a good deal of worry, so we have put this guidance together to help anyone having problems with appointments. It is aimed at people new to the system as well as those familiar with eye clinics....
IGA partners with Hospital Pharmacy Europe to increase awareness about glaucoma eye drops
Hospital Pharmacy Europe (HPE) and the International Glaucoma Association (IGA) are delighted to announce their partnership for 2017. The IGA will be attending the 2017 HPE LIVE conference, taking place on 21 November at Olympia London, where we will meet with hospital pharmacy teams from across the UK. The HPE LIVE team have this year worked hard to grow their partnership with key organisations involved with pharmacy and given the work that the we do, for example #DropsAndYou and our involvement with hospital pharmacy teams, it was an obvious choice to partner up!
The HPE LIVE conference is an important date in the calendar for hospital pharmacists. The one day, free-to-attend event provides the chance to take a break from work and gain high quality, clinical updates from a panel of experts. With five streams of presentations and talks on offer, plus a Poster Zone where attendees can showcase their innovative projects and research, a Demo Zone, and exhibition, this is an event not-to-be-missed....
The IGA welcomes the publication of the revised NICE glaucoma guideline. This provides clear referral criteria so that people are monitored in the setting which is most appropriate to them. Many can be managed by community optometrists with the relevant training, which is often more convenient. This lessens the number of people with a low risk of developing glaucoma, being sent to hospitals, which are often over-stretched and struggling to cope with the demand on their services”.
The IGA is looking for a new Treasurer to join the Board of Trustees
The IGA is looking for a new Hon. Treasurer to replace Alan Vaughan, who retires from the role in March 2018.
We are seeking someone who shares our commitment to improving the lives and wellbeing of people living with glaucoma, who is a good communicator and can bring strong finance skills and strategic awareness to the Board....
Glaucoma patients representative needed to help shape NHS research
A patient or member of the public from Oxfordshire, Buckinghamshire (including Milton Keynes) or Berkshire is being sought to help shape NHS research in the Thames Valley through the NIHR Clinical Research Network Thames Valley and South Midlands, which is part of the NHS.
A brief article about the role is below and full details are available on the NIHR website:...
National Glaucoma Awareness Week 2017 New Research Shows Lack of Awareness of the Need for Regular Eye Pressure Checks
9 June 2017
The International Glaucoma Association (IGA) reveals new research showing lack of awareness of the need to have regular eye pressure checks, as it launches its ‘Pressure checked? #GetEyeWise’ campaign for National Glaucoma Awareness Week, from 12-18 June....
IGA trustee Professor Anthony King comments on new test to detect glaucoma
“This is a potentially significant new test. It is novel in its application. There is no real comparable test available that looks at the eye in such a detailed way and it would certainly add to our current ability to evaluate patients with glaucoma. The researchers have shown that it appears to be safe and it can identify patients who have glaucoma and it is possibly predictive of patients who will have glaucoma progression so all of that is very positive for the future.
“It is a very experimental paper and the way that the test is administered wouldn’t be at all practical in the NHS. It’s time consuming and involves an intravenous injection. Patients need to have pupils dilated and then there is a need to have scans so they would have to remain in the department for several hours, so it would be both time consuming for the patient and time consuming for the ophthalmology service. However it’s likely that with future research these things could be refined significantly to hone it down to a more efficient delivery....
The IGA welcomes new eye test which can detect earliest signs of glaucoma
Chief executive, Karen Osborn comments on the new test developed by researchers at University College London (UCL) and the Western Eye Hospital:
“This is an exciting trial for people with glaucoma, as early diagnosis is critical to help prevent avoidable sight loss. This latest test could help clinicians to diagnose and treat glaucoma when the loss of sight from glaucoma is at its earliest stage”....
IGA Professor of Glaucoma recognised as one of most influential people in ophthalmology today
IGA Professor of Ophthalmology, Glaucoma and Allied Studies is recognised for the second consecutive year as one of the most influential people in ophthalmology today. For the second year running, Professor David Garway-Health has been included on the Ophthalmologist Power List 2016.
Comments Russell Young; “Professor Garway-Heath’s achievements are considerable. We are fortunate that, as well as his work as the Vice President of the European Glaucoma Society, his work with the University of London, his Consultant position at Moorfields Eye Hospital, he is also able to act as a clinical advisor and spokesperson for the IGA”....
Glaucoma support meeting in Buxton for patients and carers on 31 March
A free information and support event for people affected by eye disease glaucoma, is being held in Buxton on Friday 31 March – all welcome.
The International Glaucoma Association will be joining forces with glaucoma experts from Derbyshire Community Health Services NHS Foundation Trust for the support meeting in Buxton Methodist Church Hall, Chapel Street, SK17 6HX from 1.30pm until 3-30pm....
Specsavers and IGA partnership to raise glaucoma awareness
17 February 2017
Specsavers and the International Glaucoma Association (IGA) are joining up in a million pound health information campaign to raise awareness of glaucoma and encourage people to have regular eye examinations....
Events for Visually Impaired Visitors January – March 2017
All V&A events are accessible to blind or partially sighted visitors, and an accompanying friend or carer may claim free entry. We also offer concessionary entry to V&A exhibitions for blind or partially sighted visitors and free entry for up to 2 friends or carers.
We hope your visit to the V&A will be easy and enjoyable. To arrange for specific support, please contact the V&A Contact Centre....
IGA Response to Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman (PHSO) Driven to despair, “How drivers have been let down by the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency”, 20 October 2016
Comments Karen Osborn, Chief Executive International Glaucoma Association
“The IGA welcomes the findings and recommendations in the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman (PHSO) report, and in particular the need for clear evidence-based standards to assess whether people with glaucoma are fit to drive....
NATIONAL EYE HEALTH WEEK: TOP SURGEON WARNS ABOUT THE DANGERS OF MISSING GLAUCOMA TREATMENT
As part of the IGA’s ‘It’s Black or White, Save your Sight. Use your Eye Drops.’ campaign, for this year’s National Eye Health Week* (19-25 September), IGA Chair and Consultant Ophthalmologist, Keith Barton warns that correct and regular instillation of eye drops is essential to control glaucoma.
There are an estimated 600,000 people with glaucoma in the UK today. Glaucoma is a group of eye conditions in which the optic nerve is damaged, usually by excessive pressure within the eye. If left untreated, glaucoma can lead to serious loss of vision, with up to 40 per cent of sight being permanently lost before the effects are noticed by the individual. Fortunately glaucoma is the most common cause of preventable blindness and for the majority of glaucoma patients, daily eye drops are a simple solution to control their condition and save their sight....
2016 IGA/RCN RESEARCH AWARD FOR DEBRA JONES OF HINCHINBROOKE HOSPITAL
Debra Jones, a Glaucoma Specialist Nurse, together with Professor Rupert Bourne, at Hinchingbrooke Hospital, near Huntingdon in Cambridgeshire, have won a £25,0000 research grant after applying for the 2016 IGA (International Glaucoma Association) and RCN Research Grant. The award will fund their 12 month project entitled, Development of an evidence-based clinical tool that will predict ‘risk of non-adherence’ to topically applied glaucoma medication.
The aim of Debra Jones’ and Professor Bourne’s research is to investigate factors that may affect patients adhering to their eye drop medications for glaucoma and to develop a simple evidence-based clinical tool that will predict ‘risk of non-adherence’ that may be of use in assessing patients in the clinical setting. In the long term it should produce a better understanding of the relationship between patient factors such as ocular surface disease, patient knowledge and treatment non-adherence to help deliver more patient-centred care in the future....
Eye health sector intervenes to stop patients losing sight
Warnings that hospital initiated delays and cancelled follow up appointments are at crisis point, putting patients’ sight at risk, have led to a new cross-sector initiative. It aims to release pressure off the hospital eye health services by treating more people in the community.
To meet these challenges the Clinical Council for Eye Health Commissioning (CCEHC), representing the major charity, clinical and provider organisations in the sector, has stepped in to launch a new Primary Eye Care Framework1 for eye health services. The Framework will help commissioners address capacity issues in their area by delivering more support in primary care settings, in line with the NHS Five year Forward View....
IGA and SeeAbility introduce new eye drops for glaucoma fact sheet
The International Glaucoma Association (IGA) and the charity SeeAbility have introduced a new easy to read fact sheet. It shows how to put eye drops for glaucoma into the eye correctly. The fact sheet contains clear photographs and descriptions of how to use the eye drop bottles and how to place a drop in the eye. It also covers what devices are available to help, and where to go for further help and advice.
Karen Brewer, Head of Communications at IGA, said: “We hope that the fact sheet will be useful for a wide range of audiences. This includes anyone who needs eye drops for glaucoma, or people who care or work with someone who needs assistance....
Family Focus for National Glaucoma Awareness Week 2016 as IGA Urges Regular Eye Checks for Families of Glaucoma Patients
For this year’s National Glaucoma Awareness Week, 6-12 June, The International Glaucoma Association (IGA) is focusing on the need for close relatives of a known glaucoma patient, to have regular eye checks to prevent possible sight loss. Parents, children, brothers or sisters are up to four times more likely to develop glaucoma, when compared to people without a family history of glaucoma*.
Karen Osborn will join the International Glaucoma Association (IGA) as CEO at the end of July 2016. Karen has a strong background in developing both strategy and services for people with visual impairments, having spent the past nine years as CEO for Kent Association for the Blind.
Commenting on the appointment, Chair of the IGA, Keith Barton says, “Karen stood out in a competitive field as our unanimous choice to lead the IGA. She has an exceptional record of working with other charities, and we were impressed by her enthusiasm and ideas for the IGA. She has the experience, charisma and strategic outlook to take service provision forward and to enhance our role as a research funder”....
IGA response to Royal College of Ophthalmologists increasing demand on hospital eye services
People with glaucoma are increasingly being let down by eye clinic departments with cancelled appointments as they are being overwhelmed by an increase in the number of patients being diagnosed and living with glaucoma. The impact this can have on a person with glaucoma is significant. Glaucoma often occurs because of raised pressure in the eye, which leads to damage to the optic nerve, causing sight loss. Once sight is lost from glaucoma, it cannot be recovered. Life-long treatment, often in the form of eye drops, is needed in order to control eye pressure.
Professor of Ophthalmology for Glaucoma and Allied Studies takes up position as European Glaucoma Society Vice President
Professor David (Ted) Garway-Heath, the IGA Professor of Ophthalmology for Glaucoma and Allied Studies, has been appointed Vice President of the European Glaucoma Society (EGS) and takes up his full position in 2016. His first meeting as Vice President of the EGS takes place at the annual meeting in June 2016.
Vision Express and IGA working together for World Glaucoma Week 2016
The International Glaucoma Association is focusing on the need for regular eye health checks to detect glaucoma, during this year’s World Glaucoma Week 2016. With 64 million people with glaucoma globally, and an estimated rise to 76 million, it is vital that people recognise the importance of eye health.
A visit to the optometrist will quickly detect whether there is a risk of glaucoma, and once diagnosed, glaucoma can be treated. Although any sight lost due to glaucoma cannot be recovered, with regular treatment, useful sight can be maintained for life. This is particularly true in the UK, where it is estimated that there are 600,000 people with glaucoma, but around 50 per cent of these people are undiagnosed....
Specsavers and IGA raise awareness of glaucoma during World Glaucoma Week 2016
The International Glaucoma Association is focusing on the need for regular eye health checks to detect glaucoma, during this year’s World Glaucoma Week 2016. With 64 million people with glaucoma globally and an estimated rise to 76 million, it is vital that people recognise the importance of eye health.
A visit to the optometrist will quickly detect whether there is a risk of glaucoma, and once diagnosed, glaucoma can be treated. Although any sight lost due to glaucoma cannot be recovered, with regular treatment, useful sight can be maintained for life. This is particularly true in the UK, where it is estimated that there are 600,000 people with glaucoma, but around 50 per cent of these people are undiagnosed....
“Family Foresight” Raising awareness of glaucoma amongst relatives and the need for regular health checks
This year’s National Glaucoma Awareness campaign (6-12 June 2016) focuses on the need for regular eye health checks for parents, children, brothers and sisters, if glaucoma has been diagnosed in the family. Close relatives are four times more likely to develop the condition, when compared to someone without a family history. We believe that everyone should have regular eye health checks, at least every two years and will be working with optometrists, eye clinic staff, voluntary groups and people across the country to help prevent people losing sight unnecessarily....
Response from the International Glaucoma Association (IGA) about Faulty visual field machine used for DVLA fitness to drive tests.
Comments Russell Young, CEO, International Glaucoma Association (IGA):
“The IGA is extremely concerned that a fault with one of the machines used to assess a person’s fitness to drive will have led to some people with glaucoma having their driving licence wrongly revoked. The DVLA requires a visual field test to assess whether a driver with glaucoma is safe to drive....
National Eye Health Week: International Glaucoma Association Announces New Research Projects
The International Glaucoma Association (IGA) announces five new joint research projects during National Eye Health Week* (21-27 September) in a bid to improve treatments and quality of life for glaucoma patients.
A two year joint study with the UK and Eire Glaucoma Society is being conducted by Robert Harper, Optometrist Consultant of Central Manchester University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, to evaluate patients’ and clinicians’ experiences of virtual monitoring clinics in the UK....
National Eye Health Week: International Glaucoma Association Announces New Liverpool Research Project
The International Glaucoma Association (IGA) announces a new Liverpool based research projects during National Eye Health Week* (21-27 September) in a bid to improve treatments and quality of life for glaucoma patients.
Mitochondrial Dysfunction in the Commonest Form of Glaucoma’
The IGA and the UK and Eire Glaucoma Society (UKEGS) is funding research by Dr Neeru Vallabh of the University of Liverpool to understand the role mitochondrial defects and mutations play in the development of the commonest form of glaucoma: primary open angle glaucoma (POAG).
A few studies have detected evidence of mitochondrial gene defects in glaucoma. New gene sequencing techniques have emerged which lend themselves to the study of mitochondrial genetics. A pilot study in 30 glaucoma patients which has just been published used this technology to detect disease causing DNA mutation in 50% of the patients. The new IGA and UKEGS study aims to build on this work and investigate the effect these mutations have on the development of glaucoma.
Dr Vallabh explains: ‘Our lack of understanding of the causes of glaucoma is a major obstacle to the development of new therapeutic approaches for this significant condition. Identifying the role of mitochondrial defects and mutations in the development of glaucoma will increase our understanding of this common, sight-threatening condition.’...
National Eye Health Week: International Glaucoma Association Announces New Nottingham Research Project
The International Glaucoma Association (IGA) announces a new Nottingham based research project during National Eye Health Week* (21-27 September) in a bid to improve treatments and quality of life for glaucoma patients.
Quality of life assessment in glaucoma patients undergoing glaucoma surgery
The IGA and the UK and Eire Glaucoma Society (UKEGS) is funding research by Professor Anthony King of Nottingham University Hospital to profile the quality of life of glaucoma patients at different stages of treatment. The study will look at whether patients’ personalities affect the outcome of their glaucoma treatment and will allow comparisons between alternative glaucoma approaches. This will enable clinicians to include accurate information in discussions about surgical options available and in patient information about proposed treatments.
Professor King explains: ‘Quality of Life is a measure of the patient’s health and this is affected by the medical conditions from which they suffer and the treatments they experience. In glaucoma many patients require glaucoma surgery, and, in addition to undergoing an operation, this also results in frequent hospital visits and often a very intensive eye drop regime. Understanding the way glaucoma interventions impact on a patient’s quality of life and the different impacts of the various available interventions would be helpful in counselling patients prior to surgery and informing their expectations.’
National Eye Health Week: International Glaucoma Association Calls on Drivers Over 45 to Get Their Eyes Tested
The International Glaucoma Association (IGA) is calling on all drivers over 45 to get their eye sight tested, by asking them to consider their safety and that of their passengers and other road users. As part of the IGA’s ‘Are You Safe to Drive’ campaign, the focus for this year’s National Eye Health Week* (21-27 September) is the millions of drivers over the age of 45 that could be risking losing their driving licence and who could be a danger on the roads by not taking an eye test every 1-2 years as recommended. A recent survey by the IGA** showed that 18% of the 1,000 over 45s surveyed said they had either not had an eye test in the last five years, or had never had one at all, with marked difference between men and women (21 per cent versus 16 per cent).
With the autumn equinox on 23rd September heralding the darkening winter nights and the clocks due to go back on 25th October, the IGA points out that driving at night is when many people find that their eye sight is not as good as it should be. A recent survey by the Eyecare Trust and Westfield health insurers found that more than half of Britain’s 34 million motorists struggle to see when driving after dark, whilst many more avoid driving at night altogether. A separate three-year study conducted by Zurich found that accidents increased by 11 per cent in the fortnight directly after the clocks go back, compared to the preceding two weeks.
The recent IGA survey showed that financial considerations can prevent many people from having an eye test, as 36% of those surveyed said the reason they don’t take an eye test is that they worry about the cost. Patients living in the most deprived areas of the UK are predicted to be diagnosed with twice as much vision loss compared to those from the least deprived regions. The IGA together with the College of Optometrists is therefore announcing an 18 month research project in association with Deanna Taylor and Professor David Crabb of City University London, to hold pop up glaucoma testing clinics to see if public engagement or detection rate of suspect glaucoma is greater in ‘deprived’ areas, compared to more ‘prosperous’ areas.
Russell Young, CEO of the IGA comments, ‘For this year’s National Eye Health Week we are asking all drivers, especially those over the age of 45, to have regular eye health checks through a local optometrist (optician) to ensure they are safe to drive. We are delighted that Vision Express is offering free eye tests to anyone visiting its stores during the week.’
Continues Young: ‘We know that cost of eye tests can put people off having an eye test, so this National Eye Health Week we are pleased to announce our pop up eye clinic research study.
Results from this work will be used to show that glaucoma detection is a public health challenge, while the pop up clinic itself will be an opportunity for us to educate the public about glaucoma and the importance of regular eye tests and to provide information about local optometrists.’
Professor David Crabb of City University London comments ‘Retail pop up booths in high streets and in shopping centres are common – we propose one for glaucoma! The idea is to move glaucoma detection to communities that we think are hard to reach. The IGA funding is absolutely brilliant because it allows us to pilot the feasibility of glaucoma testing on the high street – literally!’
Glaucoma and Driving
With a sight loss condition such as glaucoma, drivers won’t know that they are putting their passengers at risk unless they have regular eye health checks. There are no early symptoms of glaucoma and the condition is more common in people over the age of 40. There is at least a four times increased risk of developing glaucoma if you have a close blood relative with the condition (father, mother, brother, sister, or child). People with glaucoma that has caused damage to vision in both eyes are required by law to report their condition to the DVLA. If they fail to do so they can face a criminal conviction, a fine up to £1000 and may be uninsured to drive. The IGA survey showed 5% of those surveyed wouldn’t report glaucoma to the DVLA if advised by a health professional, either because they think it would stop them from driving, or because they don’t think they need to.
Around 10 per cent of the calls to the IGA helpline (01233 648 178) are from people worried about whether their glaucoma is going to affect their ability to drive. Fortunately the majority of those that report to the DVLA will not need further tests, and of those that do, the majority will be found safe to drive
The IGA has a leaflet on glaucoma and driving, which is approved by the DVLA, which can be accessed by visiting www.glaucoma-association.com or via Sightline by calling 01233 64 81 78
Note to editors:...
National Eye Health Week: International Glaucoma Association Announces New Manchester Research Projects
The International Glaucoma Association (IGA) announces two Manchester based research projects during National Eye Health Week* (21-27 September) in a bid to improve treatments and quality of life for glaucoma patients.
Evaluation of Virtual clinics for Glaucoma Care
A two year joint study with the UK and Eire Glaucoma Society is being conducted by Robert Harper, Optometrist Consultant of Central Manchester University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, to evaluate patients’ and clinicians’ experiences of virtual monitoring clinics in the UK.
The past decade has seen different measures to monitor glaucoma patients with a number of NHS Trusts using ‘Virtual Clinics’ as part of the solution, where data is collected on the day a patient visits either a hospital or a community clinic, often using electronic patient records which are then analysed by an expert clinician without the patient being there. Very little is known about patients’ experiences and perceptions of virtual clinics, or about clinicians’ opinions of them and the Central Manchester University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust study will investigate this through online surveys, focus groups and interviews.
Commenting on the study, Robert Harper of Central Manchester University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust says: ‘It is so fundamental to collate both the patient and practitioner viewpoints to inform the way in which we run our clinics and this virtual clinic research aims to address key deficiencies in information in this respect.’
Patients’ and Carers’ Perspectives of Managing Glaucoma when Living with Dementia
A joint research study with the Royal College of Nursing is being run by Professor Heather Waterman of the University of Manchester to better understand how people living with dementia manage a sight threatening condition such as glaucoma. About one in four people who have severe visual impairment from glaucoma also have a diagnosis of dementia. It is more difficult to assess and treat glaucoma when people also live with dementia and together they compound feelings of distress and disorientation.
This study aims to support the development of clinical guidance on how glaucoma services can be improved to meet the needs of people living with dementia.
Commenting on the new research projects, CEO of the IGA Russell Young says, ’We are delighted to be announcing two new research projects during National Eye Health Week, which will may improve the management and daily lives of glaucoma patients. Robert Harper of Central Manchester University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust and Professor Heather Waterman of the University of Manchester are both extremely highly respected in optometry and we are delighted to be working with them on these crucial glaucoma research projects.’
Note to editors:
Glaucoma is the name given to a group of eye conditions in which the main nerve to the eye (the optic nerve) is damaged where it leaves the eye. This nerve carries information about what is being seen from the eye to the brain and as it becomes damaged vision is lost....
A new study comparing treatments for advanced glaucoma has recently started. TAGS will compare two standard NHS treatments – medical management (eye drops) or surgery (trabeculectomy) – to find out which is better in terms of participants’ quality of life....
Northern Irish Over 45 Shun Eye Tests Which Could Protect their Driving Licence and Vision
Millions of drivers over the age of 45 could be risking losing their driving licence and potentially their vision, by not taking an eye test every 1-2 years as recommended by the International Glaucoma Association (IGA). According to a new survey of 1,000 over 45s, commissioned by the IGA, 25% of Northern Irish surveyed said they had not had an eye test in the last five years, compared to the national average of 14% who haven’t had an eye test in the last five years. The survey also showed a marked difference between men and women nationally, as 21% of men said they hadn’t had an eye test in the last two years, compared with 16% of women.
The IGA commissioned the survey for National Glaucoma Awareness Week (8th-14th June 2015). This year’s campaign, ‘Can You See to Drive?’, encourages people to have regular eye health checks to ensure that they are safe to drive. It is only with regular eye health checks through a local optometrist (optician) that people will know if their driving vision is affected. This is particularly important with glaucoma as it has no symptoms in the early stages, but, with early detection and continued treatment people will often retain useful sight for life and will be safe to drive for many years. In fact 33% of Northern Irish did not know what glaucoma is, compared with the national average of 16% who don’t have any knowledge of the condition. Also, only 17% of Northern Irish surveyed correctly knew there are no early symptoms of glaucoma....
Home/News Welsh Over 45 Shun Eye Test Which Could Protect their Driving Licence and Vision
Millions of drivers over the age of 45 could be risking losing their driving licence and potentially their vision, by not taking an eye test every 1-2 years as recommended by the International Glaucoma Association (IGA). According to a new survey of 1,000 adults over the age of 45, commissioned by the IGA, 11% of the Welsh surveyed said they had either not had an eye test in the last five years, or had never had one at all. The survey also showed a marked difference nationally between men and women, as 21% of men said they hadn’t had an eye test in the last two years, compared with 16% of women.
The IGA commissioned the survey for National Glaucoma Awareness Week (8th-14th June 2015). This year’s campaign, ‘Can You See to Drive?’, encourages people to have regular eye health checks to ensure that they are safe to drive. It is only with regular eye health checks through a local optometrist (optician) that people will know if their driving vision is affected. This is particularly important with glaucoma as it has no symptoms in the early stages, but, with early detection and continued treatment people will often retain useful sight for life and will be safe to drive for many years. In fact only 16% of the Welsh surveyed correctly knew there are no early symptoms of glaucoma....
Scots Over 45 Shun Eye Tests Which Could Protect their Driving Licence and Vision
Millions of drivers over the age of 45 could be risking losing their driving licence and potentially their vision, by not taking an eye test every 1-2 years as recommended by the International Glaucoma Association (IGA). According to a new survey of 1,000 adults over the age of 45 commissioned by the IGA, 23% of Scots surveyed haven’t had an eye test in the last five years, compared with the national average of 18% who haven’t had a test in the last five years. The survey also showed a marked difference between men and women nationally, as 21% of men said they hadn’t had an eye test in the last two years, compared with 16% of women.
The IGA commissioned the survey for National Glaucoma Awareness Week (8th-14th June 2015). This year’s campaign, ‘Can You See to Drive?’, encourages people to have regular eye health checks to ensure that they are safe to drive. It is only with regular eye health checks through a local optometrist (optician) that people will know if their driving vision is affected. This is particularly important with glaucoma as it has no symptoms in the early stages, but, with early detection and continued treatment people will often retain useful sight for life and will be safe to drive for many years. In fact only 13% of Scots surveyed correctly knew there are no early symptoms of glaucoma....
45s Shun Eye Tests Which Could Protect their Driving Licence and Vision
Millions of drivers over the age of 45 could be risking losing their driving licence and potentially their vision, by not taking an eye test every 1-2 years as recommended by the International Glaucoma Association (IGA). According to a new survey by the IGA, 18% of the 1,000 over 45s surveyed said they had either not had an eye test in the last five years, or had never had one at all. In the regions, 23% of Scots, 25% of those in Northern Ireland and 24% in the East Midlands haven’t had an eye test in the last five years, or have never had one at all compared with the national average of 18%. The survey also showed a marked difference between men and women, as 21% of men said they hadn’t had an eye test in the last two years, compared with 16% of women.
The IGA commissioned the survey for National Glaucoma Awareness Week (8th-14th June 2015). This year’s campaign, ‘Can You See to Drive?’, encourages people to have regular eye health checks to ensure that they are safe to drive. It is only with regular eye health checks through a local optometrist (optician) that people will know if their driving vision is affected. This is particularly important with glaucoma as it has no symptoms in the early stages, but, with early detection and continued treatment people will often retain useful sight for life and will be safe to drive for many years. In fact only 24% of those surveyed correctly knew there are no early symptoms of glaucoma....
Can you see to drive? National Glaucoma Awareness Week 2015
The focus for National Glaucoma Awareness Week, 8-14 June 2015 is on driving and encouraging people to have regular eye health checks to ensure that they are safe to drive. It is only with regular eye health checks through a local optometrist (optician), that people will know if their driving vision is affected. This is particularly important with glaucoma, as it has no symptoms in the early stages. But, with early detection and continued treatment people will often retain useful sight for life and be safe to drive for many years.
Driving and our ability and safety to do so, is something that many people take for granted. Yet, how many people have a regular eye health check to ensure that their vision is accurate? Even if a person can see a number plate at 20 metres, how many have been tested for glaucoma which affects vision?...
National Glaucoma Awareness Week 2015: are you safe to drive?
27 January 2015
This year’s National Glaucoma Awareness Week will take place on the 8 – 14 June 2015. The focus will be on driving and encouraging people to have regular eye health checks to ensure that they are safe to drive. It is only with regular eye health checks through a local optometrist, that people will know if their driving vision is affected. This is particularly important with glaucoma, as it has no early symptoms. But, with early detection and continued treatment people will often retain useful sight for life and be safe to drive for many years....
The Lancet: Most commonly prescribed glaucoma drug reduces risk of vision loss by more than 50 per cent over 2 years
19 December 2014
Prostaglandin analogue eye drops, the most commonly prescribed treatment for glaucoma, can greatly reduce risk of vision loss in people with open angle glaucoma (OAG), one of the leading causes of blindness, according to the first placebo-controlled trial to assess their vision-preserving effect published in The Lancet....
European Coalition for Vision calls for more harmonized data collected at EU level
10 December 2014
European Coalition for Vision (ECV) regrets the lack of data on vision impairment in Europe and calls for more harmonized data collected at EU level to provide better policy advice to decision-makers. Vision is a vital part of the health dimension that is too often neglected. ECV’s objective is promote a EU eye health indicator that would address this issue. European Coalition for Vision welcomes the report “Health at a glance: Europe 2014” presented on 3rd December 2014 by Commissioner for Health and Food Safety Vytenis Andriukaitis. The report, based mainly on the European Core Health Indicators (ECHI), highlights key trends in health, providing a state of play of Europe’s health. Chair of ECV, Mr. Peter Ackland, stated: “This report is essential as it provides a good overview of the state of health in the member states. We call on the Commission and Member States to develop and promote a EU eye health indicator, that would complement the data on health to include the field of vision – that would help stimulate further public policy actions in the eye health domain”. Representing professional bodies, patient groups, European and national health, and disability NGOs as well as trade associations representing suppliers, the ECV aims at raising the profile of eye health and vision to reduce the unacceptably high levels of avoidable vision impairment and blindness, and to secure an equal and inclusive society for those with low vision and irreversible blindness in Europe. More information on ECV can be found: http://www.ecvision.eu/ Manifesto: http://www.ecvision.eu/manifesto/ For further information on the European Coalition for Vision, please contact: Zoe Gray firstname.lastname@example.org
Home/News New Driving and Glaucoma leaflet available
21 November 2014
The new Driving and glaucoma leaflet is now available, free of charge from the IGA. The leaflet includes information on when to report glaucoma to the DVLA, the tests that the DVLA will ask the applicant to take, what to expect from the tests and from the testing optometrist (optician). Additional information includes clarification on the testing conditions for the visual field test and the fact that up to three visual field tests can be taken in certain circumstances....
Professor David Crabb of City of London University explains on the BBC World Service, how research has used eye tracking software coupled with popular TV, to detect glaucoma. The research is fascinating and shows how advances in technology, investment in eye tracking software, can be used to both help and provide possible options for ongoing management of the condition, which is life-long.
The recent announcement by U2 lead singer Bono having had glaucoma for the last 20 years, has helped to raise national and international awareness of the sight loss condition. Whilst it is estimated that there are 600,000 people with glaucoma in the UK today, about half of these are undiagnosed. Widespread national press coverage of Bono’s announcement will lead to more people thinking about their eye health, and having regular checks at their local optician.
On the occasion of World Sight Day, the European Coalition for Vision (ECV) set an ambitious objective to leverage vision and eye health at European level. World Sight Day is a global event that focuses on bringing attention on blindness and vision impairment. It is observed worldwide on the second Thursday of October each year....
3 October 2014 Comments Russell Young, CEO of the IGA on the launch of the new Sight loss in older people guide for general practitioners: “It is estimated there are 600,000 people with glaucoma in the UK, but half remain undetected, GPs can play a vital role in helping to identify people with an increased risk of glaucoma. This includes first degree relatives of a known glaucoma patient, people of African Caribbean descent, myopics and diabetics. GPs can recommend these people, as well as those over the age of 40, have regular eye health checks. GPs are also ideally placed to ensure glaucoma patients are taking their eye drops correctly and are continuing to renew prescriptions. All too often, we hear of patients who struggle with the dropper bottle, have difficulty administering the drop to the eye, and then default from treatment. Glaucoma is life-long, and without the drops, glaucoma patients are at risk of losing sight. We look forward to working with primary care in the future, and are delighted with the launch of this Sight loss in older people guide”.
Survey reveals GPs not confident in detecting eye conditions
1 October 2014
A new survey produced by UK Vision Strategy and the Royal College of General Practitioners, reveals that GPs in the UK are not confident in detecting early signs of major eye disease. When asked about diagnosing glaucoma, over half (51 per cent) said that they would not be confident....
The IGA will be supporting the fifth National Eye Health Week (NEHW) which takes place on the 22 – 28 September 2014. The week provides an opportunity for eye care charities, organisations and health professionals from across the UK to join together to promote the importance of eye health and the need for regular sight tests for all. The IGA will be providing promotional stands in hospitals through Kent, and profiling glaucoma and its impact on vision in national newspaper supplements.
IGA campaign extends to Notting Hill Carnival 2014
20 August 2014
The International Glaucoma Association will be advertising at the Notting Hill Carnival (23 to 25 August) as part of the organisations campaign to raise awareness of the need for African Caribbean’s to have regular eye tests to detect glaucoma and prevent blindness from glaucoma....
The International Glaucoma Association (IGA) announces the availability of £200,000 for critical research into glaucoma. The research grants will be awarded to a range of professionals dedicated to glaucoma research and the management and care of patients with glaucoma....
IGA comments on Smartphone glasses covered in press today
17 June 2015
There has been widespread coverage today, on the development of Smartphone glasses that can help people registered blind to use their remaining sight. The glasses are still in development. The new technology will be useful for people diagnosed with Reginitis Pigmentosa, Diabetic Retinopathy, Age-Related Macular Degeneration and Cataracts. It will not benefit people with glaucoma. The Chair of IGA, Keith Barton explains: “Most of these devices work for patients with damaged retinas in situations where the optic nerve is in reasonably good shape. In other words the eye is capable of transmitting impulses in the brain, but the sensory retina has generally reduced function. By amplifying the signal in some way, the retina can pick up enough to send some information via the optic nerve to the brain. Glaucoma is completely different in that the retina is fine but the optic nerve is damaged. Either the optic nerve is capable of transmitting information to the brain or it isn’t. It is not a matter of amplifying or modifying the signal. Hence most of these types of aids don’t work for patients with severe glaucoma”. -ends-
Despite opticians being trained to spot health issues, one in ten of Britons over the age of 40 are putting themselves at risk from the serious eye condition, glaucoma, by never or not having taken an eye test in the last five years.
Even among people who are aware of glaucoma, less than half (48%) know glaucoma has no obvious early symptoms that can only be detected by an optician or an eye care professional....
National Glaucoma Awareness Week: 9 to 15 June, 2014
12 May 2014
This year’s National Glaucoma Awareness Week 2014 is urging people to take Action for Sight, and have regular eye tests, particularly if they are at an increased risk of developing glaucoma. People of African-Caribbean origin are four times more likely to develop the condition, and are more likely for it to appear earlier and for it to be more severe, when compared to people of European origin....
The European Coalition for Vision calls on MEPs to support better vision and eye health across Europe, and uphold the rights of visually impaired people.
4th February, Strasburg – The European Coalition for Vision (ECV) (1)and the Coalition’s manifesto for the European Parliament elections (2) were launched today at the European Parliament seat in Strasbourg. The manifesto, presented in an event hosted by the Member of the European Parliament (MEP) Marian Harkin (ALDE, IE), calls on the European Parliament to use its significant powers to improve the lives of people affected by vision impairment or at risk of vision loss....
The International Glaucoma Association launches its 40th Anniversary Appeal
15 January 2014
The International Glaucoma Association (IGA) launches its 40th Anniversary Appeal to raise further funds for the diagnosis, management and treatment of glaucoma. In 1974 Ronald Pitts Crick set up the IGA in order to prevent the loss of sight from glaucoma. Over 40 years on, and the organisation has the same mission:...
Support people who have just been diagnosed or those living with the condition. You can make a single or monthly donation. Your donation will help us support people with glaucoma and fund research into detection, management and treatment.