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Glaucoma Australia
April 2024

Glaucoma Australia is thrilled to welcome Senior Orthoptist Patient Educator Val Tosswill to provide comprehensive support to patients enrolled in its SiGHTWiSE Patient Support Program. 

Val Tosswill

Val brings a wealth of experience and expertise to Glaucoma Australia, with a diverse career spanning various sectors including private orthoptic practice, disability, rehabilitation, education, low vision, clinical research, ophthalmic practice, and practice management.  As a former Associate Lecturer at the University of Sydney in Orthoptics and a mentor for clinical orthoptic students, Val has also played a significant role in shaping the next generation of professionals in the field.

Her commitment to Orthoptics and patient care is evident through her active involvement with Orthoptics Australia (OA), where she served on both Federal and State Councils of Management from 1993 to 2012. Val's contributions have been recognised with prestigious accolades, including being the inaugural recipient of the Paediatric Orthoptic Award in 1999 and receiving the honor of OA Fellow in 2007.

Glaucoma Australia President Maree O’Brien said, “We are delighted to have Val join the team, her extensive experience will be an incredible asset as we look to expand the SiGHTWiSE Program to cater for the increasing number of Australians diagnosed with glaucoma.”

With an ageing population, the number of Australians with glaucoma is predicted to increase to 379,000 by 20251. Unfortunately, around 50% of people with glaucoma are unaware they have it and poor adherence to glaucoma treatment also poses a significant challenge. 

A 2021 study revealed nonadherence with glaucoma treatment can be as high as 60%2. Treatment is key to slowing or halting glaucoma’s progression, which is why Glaucoma Australia’s SiGHTWiSE Program provides free education, guidance and support for people living with glaucoma so they can understand the importance of adhering to medications and follow-up appointments.

“I know from first-hand experience, that increasing early detection and positive treatment outcomes through education, advocacy and research will make a difference in eradicating glaucoma,” said Val. “I’m excited to join the dedicated team at Glaucoma Australia and look forward to working with health professionals to extend their care beyond the consultation room”.

As an experienced orthoptist Val is hoping to raise greater awareness of glaucoma and the importance of treatment and appointment adherence.

“Being equipped with the knowledge and skills to follow your prescribed treatment regimen is vital for maintaining an independent lifestyle – with glaucoma blindness, there is no going back,” added Val.

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  1. Paul, J., Tran, T., The ophthalmology local education and engagement program. RANZCO Eye2Eye Quarter 4. 2019.

  2. Guven S, Koylu MT, Mumcuoglu T. Adherence to glaucoma medication, illness perceptions, and beliefs about glaucoma: Attitudinal perspectives among Turkish population. Eur J Ophthalmol 2021; 31: 469-476.