IGA News

  • Congratulations to Professor David (Ted) Garway-Heath

    We are delighted to announce that Professor David (Ted) Garway-Heath, IGA Professor of Ophthalmology for Glaucoma and Allied Studies, has been voted Top Mentor worldwide in the 2019 'power list' from the Ophthalmologist: https://theophthalmologist.com/power-list/2019

    Click on the image to read his short interview.

    Congratulations from all of us at the IGA!

    Read more

  • Ramadan and Eye Drops

    Did you see our campaign last year on Eye Drops and Ramadan? Did it change how you instil your drops, during Ramadan or afterwards?

    If so we would love to hear from you, to support our campaign for this year.

    We want to help more Muslims across the UK protect their sight by understanding how and why to take drops during the holy month, and we need you to help us!

    Please contact j.bradley@iga.org.uk for more information.

    Read more

  • NICE quality standards

    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

    Read more

  • IGA Glaucoma Patient Conference, Manchester 2018

    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 r.kew@iga.org.uk

    Read more

  • Engagement on the 2019 tariff

    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.

    Read more

  • Two New Trustees Join the Council of the International Glaucoma Association

    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.

    Picture by www.edwardmoss.co.uk
    All rights reserved
    College of Optometrists conference, York 2014.

    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.


    For further information please contact Karen Brewer/Richenda Kew on: 01233 64 81 64 or email: K.Brewer@iga.org.uk or R.Kew@iga.org.uk


    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:


    1. 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.
    2. As part of its support services, it operates the IGA Sightline (helpline) and provides free information on any aspect of glaucoma.
    3. For more information about glaucoma, contact the International Glaucoma Association (IGA) Sightline on 01233 64 81 70 (Monday to Friday, 9.30am–5.00pm).

    Read more

  • IGA partners with Hospital Pharmacy Europe to increase awareness about glaucoma eye drops

    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)

    Read more

  • The IGA welcomes new NICE glaucoma guideline

    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”.




    Read more

  • The IGA is looking for a new Treasurer to join the Board of Trustees

    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.

    If you would like an informal discussion about the role please contact our CEO Karen Osborn on 01233 64 81 72 or email k.osborn@iga.org.uk, or Alan Vaughan at alanvaughan623@gmail.com

    Read more

  • 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:

    1. Looking at the appearance of the main nerve in the eye, called the optic nerve
    2. Measuring the pressure in the eye, often referred to as the air puff test
    3. 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.


    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:

    1. 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
    2. 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
    3. As part of its support services, the IGA operates the Sightline (telephone helpline) and provides free information on any aspect of glaucoma.
    4. For more information about glaucoma, contact the International Glaucoma Association (IGA) Sightline on 01233 64 81 70 (Monday to Friday, 9.30am–5.00pm).
    5. 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, annabel@prwhenyouneedit.co.uk

    or Mary-Jane Greenhalgh, 07866 722051, maryjane@prwhenyouneedit.co.uk

    Karen Brewer, Head of Communications on 01233 64 81 69 or email marketing@iga.org.uk

    Read more

1-10 of 14

  1. 1
  2. 2