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The meaning of life

Supercomputer: “The answer to the great question of Life, the Universe and Everything is…”Programmer: “Yes…?”Supercomputer: “42. It was a tough assignment”.Programmer: “42? Is that all you have got to show for seven and a half million years work?” In this...

Diabetes and diabetic retinopathy: Changes in understanding of the disease over the last 25 years and how the UK is helping low-income countries tackle the challenges

Diabetes – a historical perspective Diabetes mellitus (DM) is a chronic disease caused by inherited and / or acquired deficiency in production of insulin by the pancreas, or by the ineffectiveness of the insulin produced. Such a deficiency results in...

Assessing everyday visual function in dry AMD – what matters to the person?

Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is the primary cause of blindness in the developed world and is accountable for more than one half of sight impairment registrations within England and Wales [1]. AMD is prevalent in people aged 60 years and...

Diary from my elective: a Parisian experience

The author explains how a research institute’s dedication to multidisciplinary collaboration helped him to discover a passion for academic ophthalmology. The elective aspect to the final year of a medical degree, through its change of scenery and immersion into another...

Management of diabetic macular oedema in vitrectomised eyes

Diabetic macular oedema (DMO) is one of the leading causes of blindness; its prevalence is on the rise with progressive increase in numbers of people suffering from diabetes. The management of DMO has evolved significantly over the past few years....

Rare eye diseases: progress continues with authorised orphan medicines and breakthrough technologies

An update on the development of orphan medicines, recent regulatory treatment approvals for rare eye conditions and advances in retinal prosthetic technologies for blinding diseases. The prevalence of a rare disease is based usually on a range of estimates and...

Handover of power

Election time comes every five years in the United Kingdom. It is usually a time of excitement and trepidation as people wonder what will change, for whom and over how long, depending on which party might win power. Usually it...

Refined glaucoma referral practice offers prospect of improved capacity and expanded role for primary eye care professionals

Glaucoma is the most frequent cause of irreversible blindness worldwide and the second leading cause of blindness in the UK [1,2]. The global prevalence of glaucoma in 2010 was approximately 3.5% for people aged 40-80 years, according to Jonas et...

Flashes and floaters in community optometry – diagnosing a posterior vitreous detachment

Managing patients who attend a practice with symptoms of flashes and floaters is a regular occurrence in community optometric practice. It’s often very distressing for patients; symptoms can be quite dramatic and an internet search can indicate imminent blindness from...

VISION 2020 LINKS Programme: the Madagascar-Leeds LINK

Madagascar is a fascinating and culturally rich island which has an ‘exotic’ status in most people’s eyes. Yet it is among the poorest countries in the world. According to the World Bank, 92% of the population live on less than...

VISION 2020 LINKS: COECSA Fellowship examination goes from strength to strength

Eye health problems and access to diagnosis and treatment is an important issue throughout low- and middle-income countries (LMICs), and particularly on the African continent, where quality of life is drastically affected by poor vision, blindness and deteriorating eye health,...

6.6.2020 – a celebration of international partnerships

The date 6.6.2020 was selected as a significant milestone for celebrating the achievements of the VISION LINKS Programme as part of the global ‘VISION 2020: The Right to Sight’ initiative [1]. This virtual full-day seminar included LINK partners in the...