Emergence of wavefront optics to measure and correct vision

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The future of measuring and correcting ‘higher order’ visual abnormalities may lie with wavefront optics, according to a special edition of the journal Optometry and Vision Science.

In the special edition of the journal, 16 papers explore the potential role of the technology within optics. Wavefront optics originated in astronomy as a means of correcting images as light was distorted passing through the Earth’s atmosphere. However, the technology has been adapted over the past 20 years in order to measure the small abnormalities in individual eyes. Continue reading

Report identifies gaps in eye care research

Sightloss research charity, Fight for Sight, has identified ‘gaps’ in research which need to be prioritised in terms of funding.

The findings come from a survey of more than 2,200 people carried out last year, which questioned the views on vision loss and eye disease for eye care practitioners, patients as well as caregivers and relatives.

Chief executive of Fight for Sight, Michele Acton, discussed some of the findings from the Setting Priorities for Eye Researchreport at the Ophthalmology Futures Forum, which took place in London last week (September 11).

Ms Acton said: “What do I mean by gaps? I mean gaps for the patient, gaps we cannot treat, sightloss we cannot reverse. In the UK alone, 1.8 million people are affected by vision loss. Half of those are treatable, the other half are not so straightforward.” Optometry Today

Win an ipad mini

During Eye Care Awareness Month (ECAM) the South African Optometric Association (SAOA), will be conducting an eye screening marathon on World Sight Day, 9 October 2014 to see how many eye screenings SAOA optometrists can perform in one day. This marathon will take place nationally in all SAOA optometry practices that are willing to offer the public an eye screening for free.

Patients can Win an iPad sponsored by Medscheme for the best “selfie” posted on the SAOA face book page, of them with their optometrist having their eyes screened. In order to enter you need to “like” the SAOA page. Continue reading

Election of a New Member

The South African Optometric Association is calling for members to participate in the voting process of electing a new member to join the board of directors in accordance to the SAOA Constitution and its By – Laws.

Please check your inbox for email sent on the 23rd September 2014 to vote.

Diseases result from gene mutations linked to a molecular motor responsible for human development

Another mystery of the human body has been solved by scientists who have identified how a molecular motor essential for human development works. They have also pinpointed why mutations in genes linked to this motor can lead to a range of human diseases.

Researchers at the University of Bristol have defined the composition of the human version of a molecular motor, called ‘cytoplasmic dynein-2′, that is essential for normal human development. Dynein 2 directs molecules into cilia as well as controlling their movement along cilia.

Cilia are slender protrusions that act as antennae on nearly all human cells. They are important in sensing signals that direct cell function. Continue reading

Glaucoma cure may lie in targeting ‘stiff cells’ that impede fluid drainage

Glaucoma cure may lie in targeting ‘stiff cells’ that impede fluid drainage

A unique international study that is unusual because it points to a mechanical feature of cells as a cause of disease suggests glaucoma arises when certain cells in the eye become stiff and impede drainage of fluid, causing pressure to build up. Treatments that target this stiffness could lead to a cure for glaucoma, say the researchers.

Glaucoma – a group of conditions that damage the optic nerve – is the second leading cause of blindness globally, after cataracts. It is caused by build-up of fluid in the eye, resulting in high pressure.

According to the US volunteer organization Prevent Blindness, there are currently over 2.7 million Americans aged 40 and older living with open-angle glaucoma – the kind that primarily affects people of African or European origin. Continue reading