Ask your doctor if they contribute to research
Scientific research can help improve your health outcomes, as well as other people that share your medical condition or will experience it in the future.
According to the World Health Organisation, globally, at least 2.2 billion people have a near or distance vision impairment. In at least 1 billion – or almost half – of these cases, vision impairment could have been prevented or has yet to be addressed.
This 1 billion people includes those with moderate or severe distance vision impairment or blindness due to unaddressed refractive error (88.4 million), cataract (94 million), glaucoma (7.7 million), corneal opacities (4.2 million), diabetic retinopathy (3.9 million), and trachoma (2 million), as well as near vision impairment caused by unaddressed presbyopia (826 million) (Steinmetz).
In terms of regional differences, the prevalence of distance vision impairment in low- and middle-income regions is estimated to be four times higher than in high-income regions (Steinmetz). With regards to near vision, rates of unaddressed near vision impairment are estimated to be greater than 80% in western, eastern and central sub-Saharan Africa, while comparative rates in high-income regions of North America, Australasia, Western Europe, and of Asia-Pacific are reported to be lower than 10% (Bourne).
Population growth and ageing are expected to increase the risk that more people acquire vision impairment.
Help is available
If you think you have a problem with your eyes or your vision you can speak with your family doctor or visit an optometrist. Optometrists are not medical doctors but they are eye health professionals who have an in-depth understanding of vision and how eyes work. They can use special instruments and eye charts to test how well you can see and look for any problems with your eyes or vision. They can write you a script for spectacles (“glasses”) or contact lenses, if needed, to help you see better.
It is recommended that people have their eyes checked by an optometrist every two years. In Australia, this check-up is subsidised by the Australian Government under Medicare. Many optometrists will bulk-bill these appointments and tests.
If your doctor or optometrist thinks your eye or visual condition needs to be checked further they might refer you to an ophthalmologist. An ophthalmologist is a medical doctor who has completed specialist training in the diagnosis and management of vision disorders and eye disease. Some eye specialists are involved also in research into the causes of eye disease and in clinical trials with patients to develop new treatments.
If you have a sudden change to your vision or problem with your eyes you should see a doctor or optometrist immediately.
Where does SSR fit in?
Save Sight Registries does two key things for people with eye disease.
- Provides a tool to help eye specialists track individual patient journeys and present this information in an easy to read chart.
- Helps doctors and health providers worldwide to work out which centres are getting the best results and how their methods can be used by everyone
This is achieved by allowing your eye specialist to record information about your eyes into a web-based platform that encrypts and stores the information securely in our database. This level of information is restricted to them and their practice (and of course support staff at Save Sight Registries).
Save Sight Registry authorised researchers can conduct analyses of the entire database to see what treatments are prescribed and working for patients, what side-effects (if any) have been reported and what patterns are emerging for patient progress and outcomes.
Data collected by the registry is pseudonymised so patients will not be identified by the project’s analyses.
Ask your eye specialist if they are participating in the Save Sight Registries.
Ask your eye specialist to show you YOUR chart if they are part of the project!
We value your support
Save Sight Registries receives funding and support from a range of sources in the form of research and educational grants to private donations. All funding is received on a strictly non-binding basis. This means that any support we receive from philanthropic sources or from private-sector organisations, including pharmaceutical companies, cannot determine what we do or the reports we write.