The IGA is supporting the new NICE quality standards for serious eye disorders, covering the diagnosis and management of glaucoma and other eye conditions. Read the full standard here https://www.nice.org.uk/guidance/qs180
Following the success of our Annual Lectures in London earlier in the year, we have decided to hold a similar event for our members in the North West, and we are delighted to announce that there will be a Patient Conference on Tuesday 16 October at the Holiday Inn Manchester City Centre, Aytoun Street M1 3AE.
The event starts at 2.30pm with a lecture from Mr Leon Au, Consultant Ophthalmic Surgeon at the Manchester Royal Eye Hospital (MREH), who will be speaking about new advances in glaucoma treatment. Following on, Cecilia Fenerty, Consultant Ophthalmic Surgeon at MREH will talk about the changing face of glaucoma care in the UK. The afternoon will finish with a Q&A panel where you will be able to put questions to Leon, Cecilia and other leading glaucoma experts. There will also be a drinks reception from 5pm to 6.30pm.
The patient conference is free to attend but places are limited and booking is essential, so to secure your place please call us on 01233 64 81 64 or email Richenda at email@example.com
We have just received the following announcement regarding the NHS tariff consultation
We are currently working with NHS England to develop our policies for the 2019 national tariff.
Following the funding settlement announced in July, it is essential that we align the development of our tariff and pricing proposals with the development of the wider long-term plan for the NHS. Engagement with the sector will take place in that context, and the publication of proposals will be aligned with the long-term plan and the planning guidance for 2019/20 and beyond.
Therefore, we will not be publishing a national tariff engagement document in the short term. We held a series of workshops to gather feedback on our developing policies in June and July. We will be undertaking further engagement on policies over the coming months.
The International Glaucoma Association (IGA) announces that two new trustees, David Sanders and Susan Blakeney, have joined the IGA Board, which is chaired by Philip Bloom, Consultant Ophthalmologist at the Western Eye Hospital.
David Sanders is a chartered accountant with more than 30 years of experience in various senior managerial positions, including acquisitions, corporate governance, financial control, IT, logistics, HR and audit, working for companies such as Price Waterhouse Coopers, Litton Industries and Omron Corporation a Japanese multinational company.
For the last four years, David has held honorary positions for Access Stichting, a Dutch organisation supporting expats and campelle Euf, an organisation supporting foreign students at the Flensburg University.
Susan Blakeney is a practising optometrist. As well as her optometry degree and professional certificates in glaucoma and medical retina, she also has an MA in medical ethics and law, a bachelors and a masters degree in law and a PhD. Susan is Clinical Adviser to the College of Optometrists, Optometric Adviser to NHS England (South (South East)) and a case examiner for the General Optical Council. She was awarded the Fellowship of the College of Optometrists for her contribution to the profession in 2008. She has published several papers and her book chapter on ‘Legal aspects of optometry in the United Kingdom’ was published in 2009.
Commenting on the new trustees, Chair of the IGA Board, Philip Bloom, says, “We are delighted that two such high calibre individuals have joined our Council, bringing such useful experience and skills. David’s business background will ensure that our future strategy is robust, while Susan’s optometry and legal background will also be invaluable in guiding our existing and future services, including dealing with the wider optometry industry and stakeholders.’
The International Glaucoma Association is the charity for people with glaucoma. Established over 40 years ago, it raises awareness, promotes research related to early diagnosis and treatment, and provides support to patients and all those who care for them. In addition it also part funds the IGA Professor of Ophthalmology for Glaucoma and Allied Studies, Professor David Garway-Heath, at UCL and Moorfields Eye Hospital, London. Other services include: a helpline, patient information, patient support groups, events for professionals and patients, as well as providing grants for research funding. It is run by a board of trustees which represents ophthalmologists, optometrists, ophthalmic nurses and people with glaucoma.
About the International Glaucoma Association (Charity Registered in England & Wales no. 274681, in Scotland no. SC041550)
The International Glaucoma Association (IGA) is the charity for people with glaucoma, with the mission to raise awareness of glaucoma, promote research related to early diagnosis and treatment, and to provide support to patients and all those who care for them. For more information, please visit:
- Set up in 1974, it is the oldest patient based glaucoma association in the world and it is a Charity Registered in Scotland, Northern Ireland, England & Wales.
- As part of its support services, it operates the IGA Sightline (helpline) and provides free information on any aspect of glaucoma.
- For more information about glaucoma, contact the International Glaucoma Association (IGA) Sightline on 01233 64 81 70 (Monday to Friday, 9.30am–5.00pm).
Hospital Pharmacy Europe (HPE) and the International Glaucoma Association (IGA) are delighted to announce their partnership for 2017. The IGA will be attending the 2017 HPE LIVE conference, taking place on 21 November at Olympia London, where we will meet with hospital pharmacy teams from across the UK. The HPE LIVE team have this year worked hard to grow their partnership with key organisations involved with pharmacy and given the work that the we do, for example #DropsAndYou and our involvement with hospital pharmacy teams, it was an obvious choice to partner up!
The HPE LIVE conference is an important date in the calendar for hospital pharmacists. The one day, free-to-attend event provides the chance to take a break from work and gain high quality, clinical updates from a panel of experts. With five streams of presentations and talks on offer, plus a Poster Zone where attendees can showcase their innovative projects and research, a Demo Zone, and exhibition, this is an event not-to-be-missed.
We would urge all hospital pharmacists, dispensers and technicians to join us on 21 November at the event. You can book your free place here. (please hyperlink to: https://www.tfaforms.com/369247?tfa_29=IGA)
The IGA welcomes the publication of the revised NICE glaucoma guideline. This provides clear referral criteria so that people are monitored in the setting which is most appropriate to them. Many can be managed by community optometrists with the relevant training, which is often more convenient. This lessens the number of people with a low risk of developing glaucoma, being sent to hospitals, which are often over-stretched and struggling to cope with the demand on their services”.
The IGA is looking for a new Hon. Treasurer to replace Alan Vaughan, who retires from the role in March 2018.
We are seeking someone who shares our commitment to improving the lives and wellbeing of people living with glaucoma, who is a good communicator and can bring strong finance skills and strategic awareness to the Board.
The role is not paid, but all reasonable expenses will be met, and support and training is available. You can download full details and an application form here
At this stage there is no formal closing date, but we hope to have a reasonable handover period so would welcome early applications.
National Glaucoma Awareness Week 2017 New Research Shows Lack of Awareness of the Need for Regular Eye Pressure Checks
9 June 2017
The International Glaucoma Association (IGA) reveals new research showing lack of awareness of the need to have regular eye pressure checks, as it launches its ‘Pressure checked? #GetEyeWise’ campaign for National Glaucoma Awareness Week, from 12-18 June.
In August 2016 a research team from City, University of London, led by Professor David Crabb, took a purpose-built healthcare Pop-Up into shopping centres across England. On some days the “Feeling The Pressure” Pop-Up offered free blood pressure and eye pressure checks to shoppers and on other days it just offered free eye pressure checks alone.
Some initial results from the research were recently presented at the European Academy of Optometry and Optics (EAOO) meeting in Barcelona (May 2017).
The researchers found people had far greater awareness of the need to have their blood pressure tested compared to having their eye pressure checked. Significantly more people engaged with the Pop-Up on days when both blood and eye pressure checks were offered (60 per cent of all those tested) compared to the days when just eye pressure checks alone were offered (40 per cent of the total tested).
Researchers also asked shoppers what they knew about blood pressure and eye pressure before being tested. In total 71 per cent of shoppers had a good understanding of blood pressure but only 19 per cent knew anything at all about eye pressure.
“These results show a staggering lack of understanding and awareness about eye pressure in the general public”, said Laura Edwards, the research optometrist who tested more than 700 people during a marathon 16 days of testing.
Professor Crabb added, “As we know, eye pressure is one of the biggest risk factors for glaucoma. People generally get the idea that high blood pressure is a risk factor for heart disease and it’s a good thing to check it now and then. This is unsurprising because it has been a much repeated public health message over the years. Similarly we need to educate the public that there are parallels with eye pressure being a risk factor for potentially losing your sight. We also need to make sure people understand it is something that can be easily checked and something they ought to ask for when they next visit their optometrist or eye care professional”
‘Pressure checked? #GetEyeWise’
There are an estimated 64 million people with glaucoma worldwide and an estimated 600,000 people living with the condition in the UK today, half of whom are as yet undiagnosed. Raised eye pressure can sometimes indicate glaucoma and in fact is the only modifiable risk factor for glaucoma, so this year’s campaign is to educate people about the importance of eye pressure as part of a regular eye health check. If detected early, glaucoma can be managed and useful sight can usually be maintained throughout life.
Karen Osborn, Chief Executive of the IGA, comments: “The research clearly showed that people are quite familiar with getting a blood pressure check, but are far less aware of the need for regular eye pressure checks. It is shocking that only one in five people in all of the locations visited knew about eye pressure. If pressure is too high it can lead to irreversible damage to the optic nerve leading to loss of vision. Glaucoma is known as the silent thief of sight for a good reason, as the brain fills in the missing parts of vision and it isn’t until there is significant sight loss that a person thinks to visit an optometrist who can help to detect what is happening. A significant amount of vision can be lost, and once lost it cannot be recovered. We hope this year’s campaign will encourage eye pressure checks at least every two years and for over 40s every 1-2 years.”
Karen Osborn podcast highlighting the research findings.
What is Glaucoma?
Glaucoma is a group of eye conditions in which the main nerve to the eye (the optic nerve) is damaged where it leaves the eye. This nerve carries information about what is being seen from the eye to the brain and as it becomes damaged vision is lost.
- Glaucoma is more common in people over the age of 40.
- There are often no early symptoms of glaucoma
- Symptoms of advanced glaucoma include missing, patchy vision and even serious loss of vision
- If left untreated glaucoma can lead to serious loss of vision, with up to 40% of sight being permanently lost before the effects are noticed
- Most people with glaucoma will be safe to drive for many years, but it important to alert the DVLA to the condition if advised by an ophthalmologist.
Glaucoma eye tests
The IGA believes that everyone should have regular eye health checks, at least every two years (or every 1-2 years for over 40s). Glaucoma tests are quick, simple and convenient. A visit to your local high-street optician is all that is needed to see if you are at risk of glaucoma. There are three simple tests which include:
- Looking at the appearance of the main nerve in the eye, called the optic nerve
- Measuring the pressure in the eye, often referred to as the air puff test
- Checking the field of vision. In Scotland there is a fourth test which measures the corneal thickness
Notes for editors:
The results of this research were first presented at: European Academy of Optometry and Optics (EAOO) Meeting in Barcelona 14 May 2017.
SCREENING FOR ELEVATED INTRAOCULAR PRESSURE (IOP) IN A SHOPPING CENTRE POP-UP USING ICARE TONOMETRY.
Edwards et al
This project is supported by an IGA/College of Optometrists Award (which is funded by the IGA and administered by the IGA in conjunction with the College of Optometrists) and by an EAME regional funding grant from Allergan.
Case Studies Available for Interview:
Georgie Morrell is a 30 year old comedian who was diagnosed with juvenile arthritis at three years old, which led to uveitis (inflammation of the eye) and glaucoma. She has had various treatments and surgeries over the last 27 years. She lost the sight in her left eye and was blind in her right eye for a year when she was 21, although she has since regained some sight in that eye. Georgie’s sight problems have informed her career as a writer and comedian, so much so that she wrote a stand up routine called ‘A Poke in the Eye’ about her experience.
Hayley Burke is a 44 year old Family Support Practitioner at Ty Hafan Children’s Hospice in South Wales. Hayley’s job involves driving round south west and mid-Wales to visit the families of children with terminal illness, so when Hayley was diagnosed with glaucoma at the age of 39, she was worried about whether she would be able to continue driving for her job.
Marilyn Jackson is a 63 year old humanist celebrant, based in Edinburgh. She conducts non-religious weddings, baby naming ceremonies and funerals all across the east of Scotland, so when she discovered she had glaucoma she was worried how this would impact on her job.
About the International Glaucoma Association:
- The International Glaucoma Association (IGA) is the charity for people with glaucoma. Its mission is to raise awareness of glaucoma, promote research related to early diagnosis and treatment, and to provide support to patients and all those who care for them. For more information, please visit: www.glaucoma-association.com
- Set up in 1974, it is the oldest patient based glaucoma association in the world and it is a registered charity in England and Wales, and also in Scotland
- As part of its support services, the IGA operates the Sightline (telephone helpline) and provides free information on any aspect of glaucoma.
- For more information about glaucoma, contact the International Glaucoma Association (IGA) Sightline on 01233 64 81 70 (Monday to Friday, 9.30am–5.00pm).
- In England, Wales and Northern Ireland close relatives of people with glaucoma who are aged 40 plus can have a sight test and examination by an optometrist which is paid for by the NHS, and everyone aged 60 and over is entitled to free testing In Scotland, the NHS will pay for glaucoma examinations offered by optometrists, regardless of age.
For further information or, please contact: Annabel Hillary, 07884 430862, firstname.lastname@example.org
or Mary-Jane Greenhalgh, 07866 722051, email@example.com
Karen Brewer, Head of Communications on 01233 64 81 69 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
17 February 2017
Specsavers and the International Glaucoma Association (IGA) are joining up in a million pound health information campaign to raise awareness of glaucoma and encourage people to have regular eye examinations.
Glaucoma – often described as the ‘silent thief of sight’ due to its gradual onset – causes damage to the optic nerve. It affects 600,000 in the UK and more than 64 million people worldwide making it the leading cause of irreversible blindness globally .
The campaign begins by highlighting research findings that men are at greater risk of losing their sight than women because they ignore warning signs and do not seek medical attention. The research, which focused on glaucoma, was carried out by City University and showed that men are 16% more likely than women to suffer advanced vision loss on diagnosis of the condition.
Timed to coincide with World Glaucoma Week , which runs from 12 to 18 March, the campaign will include TV and national press advertising, online activity and posters and health information in Specsavers’ 770 stores nationwide.
Welcoming the partnership, Karen Osborn, CEO of the IGA, says: ‘Glaucoma is found in 2% of the UK’s population aged over 40 . Most of those people have a slow developing form of the condition and we estimate that half of all cases – that’s over 300,000 people – remain undiagnosed and are unaware that they are slowly losing their sight.
‘Research shows more men than women are expected to be in this group because they simply do not seek medical treatment as readily as women.
‘The health awareness campaign the IGA is working on with Specsavers will educate about the importance of regular eye examinations before significant sight is lost. Once sight is lost, it cannot be recovered..’
The Specsavers IGA partnership follows a similar agreement between Specsavers and Royal National Institute of Blind People announced last August. The logos of all three organisations will appear at the end of the Specsavers TV ad which airs from Sunday onwards.
Sally Harvey, Chief Executive of RNIB, says: ‘We welcome any initiative that encourages people to look after their eye health.
‘Regular eye tests and early detection on the high street, followed by timely intervention and management of eye health conditions, could help save your sight.’
Doug Perkins, Co-founder of Specsavers and an optometrist for more than 50 years, is delighted by the partnerships with the IGA and RNIB.
He says, ‘Working together with people who are so committed to eye health and do such amazing work is a real privilege. I am looking forward to a long and fruitful relationship with them.’
Following Specsavers’ drive last year for all its optometrists to be Level 2 accredited in minor eye conditions, the focus has switched to glaucoma accreditation. By World Glaucoma Week, every Specsavers store will have at least one optometrist who has completed the WOPEC (Wales Optometry Postgraduate Education Centre) Level 1 glaucoma accreditation, reinforcing their skills in detecting glaucoma and monitoring the signs of its progression, with Level 2 set to be achieved by all optometrists by September.
- ends -
Image – Optometrist performs glaucoma assessment
About the International Glaucoma Association:
• The International Glaucoma Association (IGA) is the charity for people with glaucoma. Its mission is to raise awareness of glaucoma, promote research related to early diagnosis and treatment, and to provide support to patients and all those who care for them. For more information, please visit: www.glaucoma-association.com
• Set up in 1974, it is the oldest patient based glaucoma association in the world and it is a registered charity in England and Wales, and also in Scotland
• As part of its support services, the IGA operates the Sightline (telephone helpline) and provides free information on any aspect of glaucoma.
• For more information about glaucoma, contact the International Glaucoma Association (IGA) Sightline on 01233 64 81 70 (Monday to Friday, 9.30am–5.00pm).
• In England, Wales and Northern Ireland close relatives of people with glaucoma who are aged 40 plus can have a sight test and examination by an optometrist which is paid for by the NHS, and everyone aged 60 and over is entitled to free testing. In Scotland, the NHS will pay for glaucoma examinations offered by optometrists, regardless of age.
Specsavers notes to editors:
• Specsavers is a partnership of almost 2,000 locally-run businesses throughout the world -all committed to delivering high quality, affordable optical and hearing care in the communities they serve.
• Each store is part-owned and managed by its own joint venture partners who are supported by key specialists in support offices.
• More than 31 million customers used Specsavers in 2016 and the partnership had a turnover of more than £2bn.
• More than one in three people who wear glasses in the UK buy them from Specsavers.
• Specsavers is a champion of the National Health Service – of its 19.2m customers in the UK, 60% are from the NHS and the company is the largest provider of free NHS digital hearing aids.
• Specsavers supports several UK charities and is in partnership with RNIB for a public awareness campaign to transform the nation’s eye health.
• Every 15 minutes, someone in the UK begins to lose their sight. We are RNIB (The Royal National Institute of Blind People) and we're here for everyone affected by sight loss – that's over 2 million people in the UK.
The International Glaucoma Association (IGA) and the charity SeeAbility have introduced a new easy to read fact sheet. It shows how to put eye drops for glaucoma into the eye correctly. The fact sheet contains clear photographs and descriptions of how to use the eye drop bottles and how to place a drop in the eye. It also covers what devices are available to help, and where to go for further help and advice.
Karen Brewer, Head of Communications at IGA, said: "We hope that the fact sheet will be useful for a wide range of audiences. This includes anyone who needs eye drops for glaucoma, or people who care or work with someone who needs assistance.
"One of the most common reasons for people defaulting from glaucoma treatment, is due to difficulty in using their eye drops. As it is the eye drops which are helping to control the pressure in the eye, this can mean that damage from glaucoma will continue, which can cause further loss of sight. There are many different aids that are available. The IGA Sightline can help advise on the correct aid for each particular drop. You can just call 01233 64 81 70. You can also visit our website shop where all the aids are available to view and purchase.
SeeAbility registered charity
SeeAbility is a specialist national registered charity enriching the lives of people who have sight loss and other disabilities, including learning and physical disabilities, mental health difficulties, acquired brain injury and life limiting conditions.
You can download a copy of the SeeAbility and IGA glaucoma fact sheet.