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Homemieditorialmivision Issue 55, Mar 2011

mivision Issue 55, Mar 2011


The focus of the eye care world this month is on the ‘sneak thief of sight’ -Glaucoma.This year Glaucoma Week takes place from 6 – 12 March and a public campaign will once again urge people to be screened for this serious health problem. Glaucoma is the main cause of irreversible blindness around the world – so please, don’t let it creep up on your patients. Take this opportunity to screen them as soon as you can, specifically patients aged 40 and over, who fall into the highest risk category.

To mark Glaucoma Week Professor Jonathan Crowston, Australia’s world leading glaucoma expert, reveals the latest research into this disease in a perceptive article, ‘Winning the Fight Against the Sneak Thief of Sight’.

One fight we’re not winning however is the fight for funding new scientific research. In news we highlight the plight of scientists in Australia and around the world who are filing legal patents at a rate of knots in an effort to protect their intellectual property. The hope is that one day they’ll find exclusive cures for diseases that bring in big cash. Ironically, this race for patents prevents other scientists from conducting research and holds up valuable treatments. Would scientists be quite so preoccupied with chasing patents if the funding they needed was more readily available?

A new area of research now progressing is the use of embryonic stem cells to cure retinal disease. Our lead this issue ‘The Stem Cell Advance: Looking to Cure Retinal Disease’ looks at some fascinating world-first clinical trials that hold great promise for the future.

While lack of funding is an issue the world over, people in developing nations are most affected, as you’ll read in ‘The Real Cost of Vision Loss’. Vision impairment creates profound economic poverty and affects education and employment opportunities in third world countries. Contributions from the first world could make an enormous difference, yet international Governments fail to commit the necessary resources.

Of course as Australians, the idea of helping others isn’t alien at all. Look at the way we’ve jumped in to assist each other following the devastating cyclones and floods that have wreaked havoc on the country over the past few months. In ‘The Aussie Way’, we ask you to consider the way you, your business and customers, could assist in an area we know you feel passionate about: vision correction.

Helping others enjoy a better quality of life and spending time with family and friends is what life is – or should be – all about. In our popular ‘Last Word’, we ask why so many of us spend way too much time consumed with doing tasks at work. A would-be world leader, having been diagnosed with a mild form of cancer, once said “Nobody on his deathbed ever said, ‘I wish I had spent more time on my business.'” That said, I invite you to take this issue of mivision, find a quiet comfortable spot to read… and enjoy.

Mark Cushway



minews: The latest news on optics from Australia, New Zealand and around the world.

mistory: Looking to Cure Retinal Disease:Ground breaking international research into embryonic stem cell therapies.

mifeature: Life of a Travelling Optometrist: an article on the traveling optometrists Kirit Mahasuria and his partner, optical dispenser Peta Murray.

mifeature: Cost of Vision Loss: Delegates at the World Congress on Refractive Error 2010 in Durban, South Africa commit to finding a solution.

mioptometry: all the latest happenings in the world of optometry in New Zealand and Australia.

miview: Dorothea Nailed It: As social commentator and optometrist Geoff Lawson sees it, the contention around climate change can be summed up in a rather poetic fashion…

mieyecare: Over the past 12 months optometrists have moved steadily toward embracing neuro-developmental concepts.

miophthalmology: Presbyopia is an undesirable certainty for those of us who have reached our mid-forties.

miophthalmology: Dr Richard Stawell addresses the newly graduated fellows of the college at a ceremony in Adelaide Town Hall.

mifashion: Mako Man: We spoke to Daniel Burgess, about what makes Mako – and what makes a Mako man.

mifashion: Safety Eyewear: Safety eyewear isn’t only about protecting workers when they’re on a construction site, down a mine or on the factory floor.

mifashion news: All the latest fashion news from March 2011.

mibusiness: Business Partnerships: Final year optometry students from UNSW look at the pros and cons of this increasingly popular style of running a business.

mibusiness: The Aussie Way: In the wake of devastating floods, Australian consumers and businesses have proven their endless generosity.

miequipment: recently devised treatments and ongoing research, are helping reverse the process of this devastating eye disease.

miproducts: all the latest products from March 2011.

miLastword: The Last Word: Connections That Count: What are the best moments of your life… and the worst?