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RANZCO’s Choosing Wisely messages launched

RANZCO’s Choosing Wisely messages launched

Today RANZCO participated in the Choosing Wisely Australia launch, together with 13 other Colleges and professional associations.
The launch took place at the offices of NPS Medicinewise in Sydney, and included representatives of Colleges and professional associations, together with consumer groups, government representatives, journalists, and other stakeholders.

Altogether, 61 new Choosing Wisely messages were launched today, five of which by RANZCO:

In the absence of relevant history, symptoms and signs, ‘routine’ automated visual fields and optical coherence tomography are not indicated.

AREDS-based vitamin supplements only have a proven benefit for patients with certain subtypes of age-related macular degeneration. There is no evidence to prescribe these supplements for other retinal conditions, or for patients with no retinal disease.

Don’t prescribe tamsulosin or other alpha-1 adrenergic blockers without first asking the patient about a history of cataract or impending cataract surgery.

Intravitreal injections may be safely performed on an outpatient basis. Don’t perform routine intravitreal injections in a hospital or day surgery setting unless there is a valid clinical indication.

In general there is no indication to perform prophylactic retinal laser or cryotherapy to asymptomatic conditions such as lattice degeneration (with or without atrophic holes), for which there is no proven benefit.
The launch was attended by Dr Clayton Barnes, Chair of RANZCO’s Choosing Wisely Committee, and A/Prof Alex P Hunyor, Chair of RANZCO’s Medicare Advisory Committee.

After the launch, Dr Barnes addressed RANZCO’s staff members at the RANZCO office in Sydney, explaining the campaign messages and their development process.

For more information, please see:

Media release: RANZCO launches its Choosing Wisely Australia messages

RANZCO’s Choosing Wisely messages: public information sheet

Do I really need a supplement for my macula?

Rare eye disease treatment gets boost from bionic eye

Rare eye disease treatment gets boost from bionic eye

speedBlind people suffering from rare eye disease have been given new hope with the successful trial of a bionic eye which partially restores vision.

A recent 60 Minutes story, in addition to several clinical trials around the world, have profiled the bionic eye in relation to sufferers of rare eye diseases such as retinitis pigmentosa, which is inherited and incurable.

Retinitis pigmentosa causes the gradual degeneration of light receptors in the retina, severely impairing vision and leading to blindness in many cases. The bionic eye is a retinal implant that stimulates electrical impulses within, sending this information to the brain to “trick” it into allowing vision, albeit not normal vision but enough for the patient to make out shapes and perceive shades of light. This allows the patient to resume some of the basic tasks of living not possible before the implant.

The bionic eye is currently not available in Australia, although development is well under way. It is thought such devices will also help in the treatment of macular degeneration, the leading cause of blindness globally.

The bionic eye, called Argus II, consists of two separate components: a camera and visual processing unit the patient wears, and the surgically-implanted antenna and electrodes. Results are not instantaneous, as it takes time for a patient not used to seeing for a long time to re-learn how to interpret visual information, and to adapt to the data provided by the electrode signals.

Such advances are bringing technology and ophthalmology closer together, while also expanding the field of neuro-ophthalmology into exciting new areas.

Ophthalmology research part of the $120 million for tomorrow’s medical breakthrough

Ophthalmology research part of the $120 million for tomorrow’s medical breakthrough


RANZCO commends yesterday’s government announcement of $123.5 million in grants to ensure Australia remains at the forefront of medical health and research and a world leader in preventing, treating and curing illness and disease.

Ophthalmology research featured in the group of over 100 top Australian researchers and projects to share in the National Health and Medical Research Council grants.

These include:

Dr Hong Zhang, Development Grant, Centre for Eye Research Australia ($584,165)

This research supports the development of a non-invasive treatment for the degenerative eye condition keratoconus. Current treatment involves lifting the protective layer of the cornea to apply riboflavin to the central region of the cornea – a procedure which can be painful and carries many risks of complications. Professor Zhang will work with Seagull Technologies to develop a polymer gel that, combined with a delivery device invented by the company, can release riboflavin into the cornea safely and without the need for any incision

Prof Yogesan Kanagasingam, Development Grant, Australian e-Health Research Centre (516,424)

Low cost smart screening system for sight threatening eye disease: diabetic retinopathy

Dr Queena Qin, Postgraduate Scholarship, Centre for Eye Research Australia

Energy supply in glaucoma: one cell’s trash is another cell’s treasure

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