The University College London (UCL) is set to launch a brand new diploma program for students interested in treating glaucoma patients. Starting on November 8th, this course at the UCL Institute of Ophthalmology results in a Professional Diploma in Glaucoma.
UCL proudly announced this new course of study just a few days ago. Students will get the opportunity to study both at the UCL Institute of Ophthalmology as well as the Moorfields Eye Hospital.
In an official statement, UCL professors said that this program will help optometrists to better serve patients with long-term glaucoma issues. In particular, students will learn all about open-angle glaucoma and the best ways to monitor patients with this disease.
Anyone involved in this program will go through standard face-to-face lectures at university and receive a placement at Moorfields. There are also a few workshops, case discussions, and online classes all students must take part in.
Jackie Martin, the director of education at UCL's College of Optometrists, told reporters that many optometrists have been suggesting this program to UCL staff for a few years. Martin said that this degree course will meet all the official final level qualifications professional optometrists need to work with glaucoma patients.
There are a few prerequisites to enter this program. All prospective students must have a Professional Certificate and Professional Higher Certificate in Glaucoma. Students should also have GOC registration and at least two years of post-qualification work experience.
Jay Varia, the principal optometrist in Moorfields Eye Hospital, said that the UCL program is perfect for the current needs of the UK healthcare industry. With an increasingly aging population, the NHS needs more skilled eye care professionals who are well equipped to handle long-term glaucoma patients.
Glaucoma is a debilitating eye condition that affects a person's optic nerve. Unfortunately, glaucoma often doesn't present symptoms until the damage to the retina is quite severe. These late stage symptoms include blurred vision and eye pain. Doctors recommend everyone get an annual eye exam to catch this disease as early as possible.
While doctors cannot cure glaucoma, they can halt the disease's progression using a combination of laser surgery and pressure reducing eye drops. Without early intervention, patients can go blind from this disease.
Glaucoma can strike any age group, but it typically affects people over the age of 60. The most common form of glaucoma is called " open-angle glaucoma," however there are other types of the disease including normal tension glaucoma, childhood glaucoma, and pigmentary glaucoma.
Medical researchers expect glaucoma cases will increase in the coming years as the global population ages. The World Health Organization says that glaucoma is now the second leading cause of blindness around the world.
There are many buildings dedicated to different UCL departments all around the British capital. Luckily for students, the UCL Institute of Ophthalmology is located at 11-43 Bath Street, which is right next to the Moorfields Eye Hospital.
UCL is currently accepting applications to this program. Anyone with clinical questions should contact Dr. Varia using the email firstname.lastname@example.org. Interested applicants could send administrative questions to email@example.com.