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Greek Odyssey

The Moorfields Macula Course is one of the most prestigious ophthalmic events, and attracts attendees from all over Europe , who come to learn about the latest developments on retinal disorders.  For the first time the course was held in Thessaloniki,  Greece, with excellent participation from local and regional ophthalmologists.  One of my interests is ocular inflammatory disease (uveitis) and I gave 2 lectures  (“Diagnostic Testing”, and “Clinical features of uveitis and how to avoid the pitfalls”).

The lectures were very well received, and the meeting allowed a large number of prominent British consultants to make links with the local ophthalmologists, exchange ideas and compare the issues we face…..

In between lecturing,  many of us visited the world famous tomb of Philip II (Alexander the Great’s father, at nearby Vergina), which is the only intact and undisturbed tomb ever found in Greece.  Quite amazing!


The Missing 50%…..

The Moorfields International Glaucoma Symposium was held recently in London.  A whole session was devoted to the “missing 50%”. In essence, study after study has shown that at least 50% of patients with the commonest type of glaucoma are undetected in the community. This applies to all the developed world.  Elsewhere (e.g. in Africa) it may approach 70%. Why is this important?

Well, the hidden 50% or more of patients who have undetected glaucoma are at increased risk of losing vision, as their disease is untreated. Early glaucoma is usually symptom-free, and the question is how we detect these individuals in the community.  The key message is that all individuals should be encouraged to see their optician (optometrist) on a yearly basis as they can easily test for glaucoma.  Men are particularly bad at attending!

Public health campaigns, radio campaigns, and community screening programs in high risk communities may also play a role.

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