Advances in ophthalmic imaging technology have exploded over the past decade. Most of the emphasis has been on the posterior eye but Sydney Eye Hospital houses a new generation Optical Coherence Tomographer (OCT) and in vivo confocal microscope for the anterior eye. This project will investigate ways of interpreting and analysing OCT and confocal scans of the cornea (the eye’s window) during active infection and the scarring process. Clinical correlates of the scans will be sought such as new ways to measure visual blur and impairment.
Professor Stephanie Watson, Dr Nicole Carnt
Microbial keratitis, or MK, is an infection of the “window” at the front of the eye (the cornea). MK is usually caused by bacteria, but sometimes can be caused by viruses, fungus and other microscopic organisms.
MK occurs in all age groups but more commonly affects people wearing contact lenses and those who have some damage to the front the eye, through accidents or other diseases.
MK causes a red, weeping, painful eye, often with blurred vision. Most people are sensitive to the light and need to wear sunglasses or shades over their eyes. The infection causes an ulcer on the cornea which sometimes is seen as a white spot.
Most often MK is treated for around 1 month, but infections can last several months, in rare cases, years. After the infection heals, there may be a scar on the cornea that causNow we have technology to map these infections as they heal and form scars, but we have a lot of data points and some noise. We are looking for a motivated mathematically minded student who is interested in technology and 3-D mapping to bring greater understanding to the disease and healing process during microbial keratitis .es blurred vision and haloes around lights. The scar can shrink with time.
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