Infective conjunctivitis is a common ophthalmic condition encountered in general practice. Topical antibiotics are often routinely prescribed in primary care for this generally self-limiting condition, despite evidence-based guidance consistently recommending otherwise. Injudicious antimicrobial prescribing has important social, economic, and public health consequences. This review discusses the evidence-based management of infective conjunctivitis and the implications of overprescribing antibiotics for this condition in primary care.
Diabetic retinopathy is a serious sight-threatening complication of diabetes, where high blood glucose damages the small blood vessels throughout the body, including in the retina. These damaged blood vessels are prone to blood and fluid leakage resulting in retinal tissue swelling. In order to compensate for these blocked vessels, the eye facilitates growth of new abnormal blood vessels that tend to leak and bleed easily.
The importance of ophthalmic knowledge for physicians to prevent visual loss and disability for their patients is clear. However, as the ophthalmology field becomes more isolated from the rest of medicine, this is reflected in the diminishing allocation given to ophthalmic teaching in undergraduate education. The direct impact is a lack of confidence of physicians to deal with ophthalmic problems and therefore an inability to protect the sight of their patients’.
Presumed ocular histoplasmosis syndrome (POHS) is an inflammatory condition that continues to be cause for debate. Although the evidence is not robust, it is thought to be associated with infection with the fungus Histoplasma capsulatum. Although H. capsulatum is endemic to specific regions within the United States (US), there have been reports of cases in India, United Kingdom and Mexico.
Asian blepharoplasty is a well-established and popular surgical procedure among individuals of East Asian descent, primarily concerned with creating a well-defined upper eyelid crease. The academic literature on this procedure has been mainly dedicated to surgical techniques and anatomical considerations. However, the popularity of this procedure that purports to modify race-typical features among Asians has generated debates on its wider social implications. This review discusses the anatomy of the Asian upper eyelid as well as ethnocultural and ethical implications of the Asian blepharoplasty.
The decision to pursue a career in medicine is a reflection of one’s commitment to lifelong learning. From the moment one steps through the lecture theatre doors all the way to when he/she hangs up their stethoscope for the final time, the medic embarks on a lifelong journey of education and self-improvement. Although there is a constant emphasis on learning, the learning environment constantly evolves. Pre-clinical students by and large are taught through a combination of lecture-based and small-group theoretical and practical teaching. As these students progress to become clinical students, the main focus of their learning shifts from the lecture theatre to the clinical environment (hospitals, clinics and GP surgeries). As ophthalmology is a unique blend of medicine and surgery, clinical medical students and junior doctors may find themselves in a clinical setting that they may not be accustomed to – the operating theatre.