Mar 1, 2024

World Optometry Week Spotlight

Optometrists are primary eye care providers who specialize in eye examinations and help diagnose, treat and manage many eye conditions. In addition to this front-line work, optometrists also undertake research to understand more about eye conditions and vision loss, and drive new diagnostic and treatment modalities.

In 2023, Fighting Blindness Canada was excited to partner with the Canadian Optometric Education Trust Fund to support grants towards two promising optometrists in training.

Nicolas Blais (University of Montreal)

Tele-optometry: Comparison of the remote visual examination with the gold standard in-person examination for remote communities.

Tele-optometry has the potential to improve access to eye examinations and care, especially in rural and remote areas. However, currently there are no clear guidelines about how tele-optometry should be used to provide high quality eye care in Canada. This project aims to assess how efficient a tele-optometry eye exam is compared to an in-person eye exam and understand patient satisfaction with tele-optometry. This research may provide guidance to support expanded use of tele-optometry across Canada to better meet patient needs.

Kevin Messier (University of Montreal)

The use of OCT-A and the retinal reactivity test in patients with diabetes.

In diabetes, high blood sugar can damage blood vessels, including those in the retina. Over time this can lead to diabetic retinopathy and vision loss.

The grip strength test causes an increase in blood pressure and constriction of retinal blood vessels. This response may be affected in patients with diabetes and could be an early sign of diabetic retinopathy. This study will examine retinal blood vessel response after a grip test in patients with and without diabetes. The goal of this study is to identify early markers of changes to retinal vessel health allowing earlier diagnosis of diabetic retinopathy.

About the Canadian Optometric Education Trust Fund (COETF): The COETF was created in 1976 to assist programs in research, education, and human resources development in the vision and eye care field in Canada. The COETF is self-funded by optometrists. Since 1977, the COETF has awarded over two million dollars in grants and financial support. In the 2023 competition, the COETF provided more than $40,000 in funding for 17 awards.

Learn more about Fighting Blindness Canada and our mission to fund the best, more promising vision research.

Join the Fight!

Learn how your support is helping to bring a future without blindness into focus! Be the first to learn about the latest breakthroughs in vision research and events in your community by subscribing to our e-newsletter that lands in inboxes the beginning of each month.

I have read and accepted the privacy policy