Letter from America: Orbit and oculoplastic fellowship, University of California, San Diego

I was the fortunate recipient of the 2012 Keeler Scholarship, granting me the incredible opportunity to undertake a fellowship at the University of California, San Diego (UCSD) in orbital, oculoplastic and reconstructive surgery. My fellowship mentors were the renowned Professor...

Innovations in ophthalmology: what can the innovations of the past teach us about tomorrow?

BUOS Prize Essay – 2nd prize winner for 2013 submissions Introduction An essay titled Innovations in Ophthalmology might choose to focus on the history; from cataract couching to femtosecond lasers, ophthalmology has had no shortage of topics worthy of discussion....

Treatment of diabetic macular oedema

Diabetic macular oedema (DMO) is a common complication associated with diabetic retinopathy, and the most common cause of visual impairment in diabetes [1]. With predicted rising levels of diabetes (in England by 2025 the estimated population with diabetes will be...

Contemporary glaucoma therapy: spoilt for choice

The goal of glaucoma management is to prevent visual loss and disease progression in the patient’s lifetime through effective lowering of intraocular pressure (IOP), the primary modifiable risk factor in glaucoma. Sustained and consistent IOP reduction is key to halting...

The Eye Health Network – an ‘optometry-first’ approach to eye care

Historically, in NHS Grampian, ophthalmology and optometry worked separately, with even the process of optometry referral to hospital occurring only at the behest of the patient’s general practitioner (GP). Criteria for referral were not discussed and feedback after referral was...

Burning vision: vision loss from misuse of ‘toy’ laser pens in children

A case series of five children with macular burns due to the misuse of novelty laser products, purchased online or abroad, was undertaken at the Royal Hallamshire Hospital and The Children’s Hospital, Sheffield [1]. All patients were from the Sheffield...

Guide to Gaining Approval for a Clinical Study

This article focuses on gaining approval for clinical research involving NHS patients, although the principles can be applied to other types of research. The intention is to give an overview of the requirements for setting up a research study, but...

Ophthalmology in the developing world

After the second year of medical school, I spent my summer vacation working as a volunteer for a small Italian non-government organisation (NGO), named HEALTH-AID. As part of my volunteering experience, I joined a team of European doctors, medical students...

Inherited retinal disorders now the leading cause of blindness

The recent paper in BMJ Open, from the UCL Institute of Ophthalmology, ‘A comparison of the causes of blindness certifications in England and Wales in working age adults (16-64 years), 1999-2000 with 2009-2010’ concludes that inherited retinal disorders (IRD) such...

The importance of ‘hands-on’ learning

Providing ongoing professional education and development for the allied professions out of the clinic or hospital setting is often quite challenging. The reorganisation of rotas, heavy clinic lists and financial constraints all add up to making the opportunity to learn...

Eye Capacity: clinical need should drive ophthalmic service provision

Almost two million people in the UK suffer sight loss, a number forecast to double over coming decades. Major causes of blindness are age-related macular degeneration (AMD), glaucoma, diabetic retinopathy, cataract and uncorrected refractive error. Prevalence of these sight-threatening conditions...

Addressing medical risk factors for diabetes and understanding the new systemic treatments

As global diabetes figures continue to rise, the importance of reducing the burden of macrovascular and microvascular complications of diabetes has never been so great. By 2025 it is estimated that five million people in the UK will have diabetes...