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New insights into cataract vision loss

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Posted September 11, 2015

Leading South Australian optometry centre, Flinders Vision, is tackling difficult vision problems with innovative research and new equipment.

Flinders Vision is using the new Watkins Lens which provides improved visualisation of the inside of the eye. Photo credit: Flinders University

Flinders Vision is using the new Watkins Lens which provides improved visualisation of the inside of the eye. Photo credit: Flinders University

Along with a newly developed lens for checking the back of the eye, Flinders Vision researchers are now developing a new test to fill a gap in routine testing for vision loss and glare sensitivity caused by cataract.

The Flinders Glare Test, which measures both contrast sensitivity and glare, aims to provide a more comprehensive test for routine eye examinations, says Professor Konrad Pesudovs, Head of Optometry at Flinders University.

“We are looking to expand trials to show that the Flinders Glare Test can be a better method of monitoring the progression of visual disability than the usual routine testing, which do not represent every-day visual requirements,” Professor Pesudovs says.

“These new tests will help to better define vision decline in early-stage cataract patients and potentially set better timelines for surgery and other treatment.”

In contrast to the usual high-contrast black letters on a white background method, the Flinders Glare Test is poised to meet a need in regular vision tests by demonstrating the glare problems that cataract patients suffer.

Cataract is a leading cause of blindness around the world, and is one of the largest single direct health costs in Australia where more than 85,000 people are affected by cataract vision loss.

With an ageing population, more effective vision testing will help to streamline management of this common condition.

The trials will be conducted at the Flinders Vision centre at Flinders University, Bedford Park. The community eye centre is open to the public without the need for referral.

Professor Pesudovs says the glare test might be introduced across other optometry practices, next to the Watkins Lens which provides improved visualisation of the inside of the eye (as pictured).

The lens was developed by Flinders University Associate Professor Rod Watkins.

Source: fliders.edu.au

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