Recent Interim MBS Listing Raises MIGS Funding Concern
The Minister for Health, the Hon Greg Hunt MP, has listed the interim Medical Benefits Scheme (MBS) item number 42705, allowing minimally invasive glaucoma surgery (MIGS) devices to continue to be used at the time of cataract surgery, at least until the Medical Services Advisory Committee (MSAC) review is completed.
MIGS to Continue as a Reimbursed Glaucoma Treatment Option
The Minister for Health, the Hon Greg Hunt MP, has agreed to list an interim MBS item for the insertion of minimally invasive glaucoma surgery (MIGS) devices.
Early Detection of Glaucoma? Live Imaging of Ganglion Cells in the Retina
Live imaging of ganglion cells using adaptive optics.
A ganglion cell in the eye is a neuron (nerve) cell located near the inner surface of the retina. It receives visual information and passes this on to the brain to enable people to see.
The risk of intraocular pressure elevation caused by wearing swimming goggles. Check out the research and the most up-to-date recommendations to minimise the risk of glaucoma worsening by using swimming goggles.
Family History and Glaucoma
What we know about glaucoma running in families. Much work has been undertaken to unravel which specific genes are involved in the various types of glaucoma and the importance of family history.
Glaucoma Research Update: The Year in Review (2014)
Glaucoma continues to be one of the least well understood eye diseases of all – partly due to the fact that it is an umbrella term for a variety of diseases with a common endpoint and partially due to the complexity of these disease processes. However 2014 was a good year with a number of research breakthroughs – some locally based – that helped provide insights into glaucoma as a disease and as potential avenues for therapy.
Improving Quality of Life for Patients
How researchers are looking to improve the day-to-day experience of people with glaucoma. Having glaucoma can impact a person’s quality of life, making them less likely to lead a happy and fulfilling life, even in the early stages of the disease.
Identifying Genetic Causes of Primary Congenital Glaucoma in Australia
New gene discoveries indicate that primary congenital glaucoma may be inherited in a dominant pattern, as well as recessive
Driving in Australia – Glaucoma Considerations
Make sure you are informed about the driving rules and regulations in your state. Some health conditions, including glaucoma, can affect our ability to drive safely and drivers are legally responsible in all States and Territories for reporting a medical condition that may impair/affect their ability to drive. There are State/Territory differences in when and what vision tests, medical assessments and road tests are employed to assess fitness to drive.
Maintaining Safe Driving Habits
If you notice changes in the way you drive or have wondered ”Am I a safe driver?”, the following may be useful to consider to protect you and others on the road.
Glaucoma Research Update: The Year in Review (2015)
2015 proved to be a busy year for glaucoma research, highlighted at both the Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology (ARVO) meeting and the World Glaucoma Congress. In addition, one of the main outcomes was the consensus to finalise the new Asia Pacific Glaucoma Guidelines (third edition) due for launch in mid-2016, which will guide glaucoma management across the region over the next few years.
TARRGET Study Report
The Targeting At Risk Relatives of Glaucoma patients for Early diagnosis and Treatment (TARRGET) study is a partnership project between Glaucoma Australia and the Australian and New Zealand Registry of Advanced Glaucoma (based at Flinders University, Adelaide).
TARRGET aims to investigate the feasibility of offering free glaucoma screening to immediate relatives of people who have been diagnosed with advanced glaucoma.
It’s Okay to Ask Your Doctor: “Did You Wash Your Hands?”
The standards of care around handwashing for medical professionals.
It is vital that health care providers wash their hands frequently because this can prevent the spread of bacteria and viruses that cause disease and even death in patients.
National Eye Health Survey
Determining the nationwide prevalence and causes of vision impairment in Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians has the potential to contribute significantly to Australian eye health knowledge.
The TARRGET Project – January 2017 Update
The TARRGET project (Targeting At Risk Relatives of Glaucoma patients for Early diagnosis and Treatment) is nearing completion of the pilot study phase.
Collaborative Care of Glaucoma Patients Between Ophthalmologists and Optometrists
Optometrists and ophthalmologists are working more closely together to ensure timely delivery of eye healthcare
The Many Facets of Glaucoma
Significant advances in glaucoma detection and management during 2016 included new dietary advice, the use of Optical Coherence Tomography Angiography (OCT-A) for glaucoma diagnosis, an explosion of minimally invasive glaucoma surgery (MIGS) technology, as well as novel and exciting methods of detecting glaucomatous
This article was adapted and reprinted with permission from Mivision ophthalmic journal, Mar’16, Issue 121
Researchers Make Retinal Ganglion Cells from Stem Cells
Researchers at the Indiana University and Purdue University Indianapolis have taken stem cells from two different groups: patients who have an inherited form of glaucoma and subjects without glaucoma. The skin cells were then genetically reprogrammed into pluripotent stem cell (master cells), which can then become almost any type of call.
This method is reported in the journal Stem Cell and may help improve glaucoma treatments, lead to medication being personalised, and help to study the underlying mechanism of glaucoma.
New Tactile Five Dollar Note Released
The Reserve Bank of Australia has released the next generation $5 banknote, which features a ‘tactile’ bump that can be used by those vision impaired to confirm what note they have. The rest of the banknotes are planned to have a tactile feature in time. The new tactile $10 note is planned to be released in September 2017.
Making Australians More Aware of Their Eye Health
A national consumer eye health awareness campaign aimed at making Australians more aware of their eye health has been launched by Optometry Australia. The Good vision for life campaign will highlight the need for regular eye examinations throughout life and will promote the role of optometrists in preventative eye health care. The campaign is focusing on the six million Australians aged 40-59 years, particularly on women in that age group.
Bright Light and Caffeine Improve Driver Alertness
According to a Queensland University of Technology study caffeine and blue-green light have significant effects on improving the driving performance of chronically sleep-deprived young people. A media release from QUT’s Centre for Accident Research and Road Safety states that the study tested the use of bright light using commercially available light glasses that emit a shortwave blue-green light and using caffeinated chewing gum.
Drivers given caffeine alone or with the light glasses had decreased side to side movement of the steering wheel and vehicle, indicating better control and higher alertness when using a driving simulator.
Online Eye Examinations
Opternative is an online - do it at home - refractive exam using a smart phone or computer. It operates in 31 US States and the company are intending to expand into Australia at some stage. They claim that it is “as accurate as an in-person refractive eye exam” and quote this clinical study:https://www.opternative.com/clinical-study Opternative limits its App to users who are 18 to 40 years old. The free test yields the results and tells you to contact a local eye care professional. The venture-funding will be used to invest in R & D to develop the app for the over 40s and an ageing population. See for yourself at https://www.opternative.com
There is a New Technique That Can See Individual Retinal Ganglion Cells on the Human Retina
University of Pittsburgh Assistant Professor of Ophthalmology Ethan Rossi, and colleagues led by University of Rochester Dean for Research in Arts, Sciences and Engineering Professor David Williams published their study: http://www.pnas.org/content/114/3/586.abstract
This technique may help to assess the thickness of retinal nerve fibres better and in doing so prevent vision loss by detecting glaucoma and starting treatment earlier. The death of retinal ganglion cells is what causes vision loss in glaucoma.
Retinal ganglion cells in a macaque, scale bar 25 microns.
Image taken by Ethan Rossi with assistance of the University of Rochester team.