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All Eyes on Glaucoma Website PDF
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Product News
Friday, 12 September 2008
A new online resource to help clinicians was recently launched. The Optic Nerve Resource Center, www.alleyesonglaucoma.com, is a tool that will be useful to optometrists to learn about the latest technologies available to examine the optic nerve to detect anatomic damage, potentially before functional vision loss.

The goals of the site are to provide online educational resource for eye health professionals to review optic imaging technologies, highlight the role of optic nerve imaging techniques in detecting ongoing structural changes in glaucoma and reinforce the importance of ongoing optic nerve assessment in management of glaucoma. The site will be updated as new technologies become available.
 
CAPT Study Findings on Advanced AMD PDF
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Ophthalmology and Optometry
Friday, 12 September 2008
The Complications of Age-Related Macular Degeneration Prevention Trial (CAPT) was a multicenter randomized clinical trial (conducted from 1999 to 2005) that investigated whether low-intensity laser treatment could prevent vision loss in patients with early stage age-related macular degeneration (AMD). The advanced stages of AMD destroy the macula in the eye’s retina, the area that normally provides the detailed, central vision we rely on for reading, driving and other daily tasks. This clinical trial, sponsored by the National Eye Institute, did not show that the laser treatment was effective in preventing loss of vision, but the results did provide valuable information on factors that predict progression to advanced AMD.

Patients with early AMD whose eyes have many large drusen---abnormal, white-yellow deposits that accumulate under the retina---are known to be at higher risk for developing one or both forms of advanced AMD: choroidal neovascularization (CNV), known as “wet” AMD, and/or geographic atrophy (GA), known as advanced “dry” AMD. CAPT is the first study large enough to look separately at risk factors for the development of CNV and of advanced GA in AMD patients with extensive drusen in both eyes. The 1,052 CAPT participants each had 10 or more large drusen and visual acuity of 20/40 or better in each eye at the study outset. Each patient received low-intensity laser treatment in one eye only; the other eye was observed. Follow-up exams took place yearly for five or six years. CAPT concluded that laser treatment did not change the risk of developing CNV, GA, or loss of visual acuity.

Analysis of the CAPT results allowed researchers to identify factors that predicted the risk of progression from early to advanced AMD. They found that some factors were associated with both forms of advanced AMD and others with only one form. Increased age and pigment clumps in the retina were associated with the development of both CNV and GA . Current, but not past, smoking was linked to a higher risk of CNV, indicating that smoking is likely an active stimulus to CNV. The size of the retinal area covered by drusen and the presence of lightly pigmented areas in the retina were associated only with progression to GA. “These findings increase the understanding of how CNV and GA develop and aid ophthalmologists in discussing prognosis with patients who have many large drusen,” said Maureen G. Maguire, Ph.D., Professor of Ophthalmology, University of Pennsylvania Health System, and, corresponding author on the risk factors study.
 
A Garden of Secrets unveiled for Guide Dogs PDF
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Australian News
Friday, 12 September 2008
A Garden of Secrets is set to be unveiled by the Leone family in Castle Hill for the first time since the completion of a new memorial garden which was designed by 2006 Chelsea Garden show winner, Dean Herald. The family-friendly gardens will be open for two consecutive weekends commencing 13 September, and all funds raised will be donated to Guide Dogs NSW/ACT.

The event will feature food stalls, kids face painting, a chance to meet Guide Dogs-in-training, and the opportunity to meander through the magnificent gardens in full spring bloom, compete with fountains, hand-carved statues and water features.

The new Tuscan styled, memorial garden was built in honour of Samuel, the late son of Paul Leone. The garden has been 6000 hours in the making and was established with 4000 plants and a bronze, handcarved statue of a stallion inside a water feature as it’s centrepiece.

Guide Dogs Fundraising Manger Victoria Bradshaw said “We are so grateful to the Leone family who are generously opening their garden to the public, as well as McGrath Real Estate and Sydney Markets who are supporting sponsors.

“The donation they generate will allow Guide Dogs to continue providing our valuable services to the community” she continued.

Guide Dogs NSW/ACT is an independent, not-for-profit organisation and receives no government funding. The organisation provides its free services, including advice and training, to people with a vision impairment.

This includes training to use mobility aids such as canes, electronic devices and Guide Dogs. All services are provided free of charge and are available to every person, whatever their age, with vision impairment.

The Garden of Secrets will be open on the 13, 14 and 20, 21 September between 10am and 4pm.

The venue is located at 352 Old Northern Rd, Castle Hill (parking opposite in Oakhill College). Entry is $10 with children admitted free of charge. All proceeds raised will be donated to Guide Dogs NSW/ACT.

For more information phone Guide Dogs on (02) 09412 9300 or visit www.gardenofsecrets.com.au
 
Specsavers focuses on automation PDF
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Companies
Thursday, 11 September 2008
Specsavers is upgrading its open source-based store applications to automate customer-facing processes and improve service levels. The migration of business-critical applications to a Linux-based set-up began last year with the creation of a core package, Socrates, which covers customer registration and sales recording, appointment booking, dispensing and payment processing.

“Automation will enable us to offer a faster, improved experience. The more you cut down on time-consuming processes, the more other key capabilities are boosted, such as customer service,” said Specsavers global architecture manager Nigel Spain.

The chain plans to double the number of branches worldwide to 2,000 within three years.

Socrates runs on Red Hat Enterprise Linux on an X86 Intel server platform with 610 store terminals in the UK and a number of stores overseas.
 
Vietnamese Institute aims to control blindness PDF
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International News
Thursday, 11 September 2008
Vietnam plans to reduce blindness nationwide to under 0.4 per cent by 2012, and to under 0.3 per cent by 2020, according to Director of the Vietnam National Institute of Ophthalmology (VNIO) Do Nhu Hon. Hon spoke recently at a workshop held in Ha Noi on the future plans of blindness prevention programmes to 2020.

The country also planned to reduce incidents of cataracts, control blinding trachoma, xerophthalmia and reduce Vitamin A deficiency by 2012. As part of the National Programme for Blindness Prevention to 2020, eye care staff at all levels would be strengthened. The programme also aimed to develop eye care technology and build eight regional children’s eye care centres.

Blindness rates have been reduced from 0.63 per cent in 2002 to 0.43 per cent in 2007, according to a recent survey by the VNIO. The survey estimated that Vietnam had about 370,640 blind people and 1.58 million people with poor vision, accounting for 572,757 men and 1,007,019 women.

Vietnam has achieved remarkable results in blindness prevention activities thanks to the Vietnam National Institute of Ophthalmology’s great efforts over the past year, said Deputy Minister of Health Nguyen Thi Xuyen.

According to the survey, the main causes of blindness were cataracts (66.1 per cent), post-segment pathology of the eyeball (10.1 per cent) and glaucoma (6.53 per cent). This means that the country has over 192,000 people with cataract blindness and over 25,000 who are blind due to glaucoma.

The workshop’s aim was to study blindness throughout the nation and blindness prevention systems, as well as to propose targets, policies and measures for the National Programme for Blindness Prevention in Vietnam to 2020.
 
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