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Macular Degeneration Awareness week 2017

Macular Degeneration Awareness week is here. To raise awareness we invite you, your family, your friends – anyone over 50 – to come in and spend 10 minutes with one of our Optometric Assistants (who are mostly QUT optometry students) for a free macular health screening and discussion using our cutting edge technology. We’ll be offering this service until the end of May – please call us on 3210 1822 to set a time with us. (Note this is not a full eye exam – we recommend a comprehensive eye exam at least every 2 years.)

The Facts:
– An eye exam can save your sight
– 1 in 7 Australians over 50 have some evidence of MD
– You have a 50% chance with a direct family history
– You can have the early signs without knowing
– Diet and lifestyle changes support good macular health.

Book in a short screening today, or a full eye exam with one of our optometrists to understand the whole picture of your risks for MD.

A gold coin donation for the Macular Degeneration Foundation will be appreciated.

By | 2017-05-25T14:10:52+00:00 25th May 2017|In the news, Uncategorized|0 Comments

Dissolving Cataracts

Cataracts are the leading cause of blindness worldwide. Currently, the only way to treat cataracts is to have them surgically removed. Cataract surgery is one of the most common surgeries performed in Australia. Imagine if cataracts could be treated without the need for surgical intervention.  What if surgery became a thing of the past and cataracts were treated with eye drops instead? Well this may sound like a bizarre plot in a science fiction movie, but scientists say it could well be our treatment modality in the near future.

The human lens is comprised of crystallin proteins which are assembled in a highly organised fashion essential for maintaining transparency and refractive power. The function of the lens is to transmit light and focus it on the retina. Disruption to the ordered structure of the lens proteins leads to unordered aggregation of proteins and subsequent formation of cataract.

cataracts clear eye websize

View of clear healthy lens through pupil.

cataracts cloudy eye websize

View of cataractous lens (yellow appearance) through pupil.

Researchers at the University of California, San Diego, have developed a topically applied treatment that has been shown to shrink and even dissolves cataracts. The new treatment has been researched and developed over many years and is based on the use of a naturally occurring steroid, lanosterol. Research has shown that lanosterol inhibits protein aggregation and cataract formation in rabbit and dog lenses in vivo. This is a very exciting technological development in potential cataract treatments because although surgery to remove cataracts is efficacious and safe, ageing populations around the world are predicted to require a two-fold increase in cataract surgery in the next 20 years. This would mean a significant impact on our public health system which is already struggling to cope with long waiting lists for cataract surgery.

It is very easy to screen for cataracts non-invasively with your general eye examination and as the eye is easily accessible for topical application of drugs, a pharmacological treatment for cataract is a promising thought for the future!

 

References

Pascolini, D. & Mariotti, S. P. Global estimates of visual impairment: 2010. Br. J. Ophthalmol.96, 614–618 (2012)

Zhao, L., Chen, X., Jin, X., Lin, D., Wen, C., Abagyan, R., Su, Z., Gao, W., Kozak, I., Granet, D., Yan, Y., Zhang, K., Wu, F., Chung, C., Zhu, J., Xi, Y., Flagg, K., Wang, Y., Tjondro, H. Lanosterol reverses protein aggregation in cataracts: 2015. Nature. 523, 607-611.

 

By | 2018-06-28T07:03:01+00:00 14th October 2015|Eye conditions, Uncategorized|2 Comments