Improving cataract outcomes a focus for new face at SSI

Biomedical science student Stein Allen has joined the SSI team, working on an exciting thesis project which could improve visual outcomes for millions of people, now and in the future.

Biomedical science student Stein Allen has joined the SSI team, working on an exciting thesis project which could improve visual outcomes for millions of people, now and in the future.

Stein’s research will assess the optimal design of intraocular lenses, the tiny focusing device which is inserted during cataract surgery after the natural lens is removed.

According to Stein “As we all live longer, chances are that most of us will need our cataracts removed at some stage. My work aims to ensure that the replacement lens is as good as it possibly can be.”

Stein’s thesis will focus on assessing developments in the design of the Intraocular Lens (IOL), identifying promising new technologies which will improve patient outcomes post cataract surgery.

Working closely with senior clinicians and academics, including Professors John Grigg, Peter McCluskey, Stephanie Watson, John McAvoy and Chris Peterson, Stein aims to narrow down various opportunities and developments in the IOL design field.  Stein’s qualifications in biomedical science brings an engineering and product design aspect.

According to Prof Grigg “When you consider the many millions of people who require cataract surgery, and the impact of improved outcomes on their quality of life, it’s not hard to see that this work could have far-reaching and important implications for the ophthalmology community”.

Stein believes that there is much potential for IOL technology with  accommodating lenses (allowing the patient to focus near and far without requiring additional spectacles) and his work will also look at reducing the chance of rotation in toric lenses to improve surgical outcomes.”

Toric lenses correct astigmatism in patients, but if it rotates more than 30 degrees, it can potentially increase astigmatism.

Stein wants people to know that the future of IOL technology is bright. “Accommodating lenses  are a very exciting development for patients” he said “and in a related field, the work of researchers such as Professor John McAvoy, who is working on lens regeneration at Save Sight Institute, is very exciting.

Stein plans to have results, including potential design improvements, later this year.

Seminar: Life Skills for Vision Impaired Children

How can we support children with vision impairment to become socially competent, confident and independent?

  • How can we support children with vision impairment to become socially competent, confident and independent? 
  • How can we help children with vision impairment to make the transition from school to the workplace and the wider world?
  • Where would you like your child or student to be in ten years time? 

Dr Karen Wolffe is widely published and recognised as an expert in career education, social skills development, transition issues and employment opportunities for people with vision impairment.

Presented by Guide Dogs NSW/ACT, Dr Wolffe will present an important seminar for parents and professionals who work with vision impaired children.

Dates are:

  • 4th March, Blacktown, 10am – 1pm. 
  • 5th March, Chatswood, 10am – 1pm. 
  • Coffs Harbour, Orange, Canberra and Newcastle are also planned. 

Contact your local Guide Dogs office on 1800 484 333 for details and to register. The need for these life skills in transitioning from school to work will be emphasized. Dr Wolffe will also discuss the importance of teaching disability specific skills, and the need for parents and concerned professionals to advocate for these essential components of the Expanded Core Curriculum.

Following Dr. Wolffe’s presentation, there will be time for questions and answers and discussion. Light refreshments will be served. More information about Dr Wolffe here.

Parents are admitted free, there is a cost of $25 for the service providers.

Dr Wolffe is also delivering a two day course at the RIDBC Renwick Centre on 2nd and 3rd March.