Around 5,000 people between 50 and 80 years old have been invited for a study into eye diseases in Malta, in a bid to find out what’s really behind its prevalence in the country.
Led by the University of Malta and the Ophthalmology Department at Mater Dei Hospital, the study is looking to create a clear data set to see the prevalence of eye diseases and visual impairment, with around 3000 and 4000 cataract operations currently taking place.
At present, all we know is that there are between 3000 and 4000 cataract operations b
This study will be carried out by a team of specialists, namely PhD student David Agius under the supervision of Mr Francis Carbonaro and Prof Julian Mamo.
“Since we will be specifically looking for eye diseases such as glaucoma and cataracts, as well as determining the prevalence of blindness or visual impairments, we have chosen to focus on an older age range that may be more prone to such eye health issues,” Carbonaro explained in other reports.
Subjects will be invited to attend the Ophthalmic Outpatients centre, then asked to complete a questionnaire, before being given a full eye test, completely free of charge.
The tests will take images of the retina and optic nerve, take DNA swabs, among other things.
The study will be funded by Research, Innovation and Development Trust, RIDT, within the University of Malta and the Malta Community Chest Fund at a cost of € 132,000, the largest ever received for medical research from the fund.