Written by Mr Jack Phu
PhD candidate and staff optometrist Centre for Eye Health, University of New South Wales
Can we improve our detection of glaucoma in the early stages of development?
It is known that early intervention is critical to improve the outcome of many diseases, including glaucoma. Researchers at the Centre for Eye Health, University of New South Wales, are undertaking a number of projects that target early detection of glaucoma. These projects include work on the functional tests used for patients with glaucoma.
My research focuses on the functional aspects of glaucoma. In particular, we are investigating methods to improve detection of subtle functional defects in early stages of glaucoma and also to reconcile differences between structure and function evident in early disease. Many studies have shown that there exists discordance between structural appearances of the optic nerve and functional results in the visual field in early stages of glaucoma. Some patients with obvious structural losses on examination of their optic nerve may present with little or no apparent functional loss on visual field testing (this is also called “pre-perimetric” glaucoma). Preliminary work done by our laboratory (Kalloniatis, M and Khuu, SK, 2016) equating spatial summation in visual field testing reveals greater loss in optic nerve disease. Ophthalmic and Physiological Optics) and others have shown that simple manipulations of stimulus parameters can reveal a greater extent of visual field loss compared to when using standard clinical procedures. My research goals are to extend this work in a greater number of patients, and to determine the optimal stimulus parameters and visual field models for clinical examination.
Recently I was awarded the William C. Ezell Fellowship for 2016 by the American Optometric Foundation and Optometric Glaucoma Society to continue my research, for which I am very grateful.
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