Cataract and lens surgery
Cataract (cloudiness of the lens) is an age-related condition, occurring in about half of the population above 75 years of age. Cataract surgery is one of the most common operations world-wide, and about 50 000 operations are performed per year in Norway. In this surgery, the cloudy lens is removed and replaced by an artificial intraocular lens (IOL).
After surgery, a temporary intraocular inflammatory response occurs. This response is treated with topical steroids and NSAIDs in particular - to reduce the inflammation and prevent a vision threatening complication named cystoid macular edema. In one of our clinical trials, we study different medical treatments related to such surgery.
Cataract may also be present from birth or occur in childhood, and the Department of Ophthalmology at OUH has responsibility for treatment of cataracts in children in the South-Eastern regional Health Authority. We have an ongoing study of the clinical outcome of artificial lens implantation in newborns with congenital cataract.
Another patient group is adults who have undergone uncomplicated cataract surgery in the past, and that, after several years, experience reduced vision due to loosening of the artificial lens; so-called late in-the-bag IOL dislocation.
The treatment is either repositioning of the dislocated lens by suturing it to the scleral wall, or replacing it for a new artificial lens. We have several research projects investigating this condition and evaluating the different surgical approaches.
Keratoconus is a condition in which the cornea thins and gradually bulge outwards into a conus shape, which eventually causes reduced vision. It usually develops in the late teens. In early stages, glasses or contact lenses are helpful, but with progression of the disease, the vision is permanently reduced.
Based on recent studies from our group and from other countries, the condition seems to be much more common than previously reported, and probably at least 0,5% of the population have this condition.
About 15 years ago, a new treatment modality was developed to halt the progression of the disease; corneal collagen crosslinking (CXL). In this procedure, riboflavin (vitamin B) is administered onto the cornea along with UVA radiation.
Our group has focused both on epidemiology and different variants of treatment related to the keratoconus disease.
Glaucoma and glaucoma surgery
Glaucoma is a disease that damage the optic nerve, which will gradually worsen the visual field. Untreated, there is a risk of total blindness. Glaucoma is a common eye disease with a frequency of about 1-2% of the population, and with a much higher frequency in the elderly.
The treatment aims at reducing the intraocular pressure (IOP) with topical medication, laser or surgery. The traditional surgical procedure has been trabeculectomy.
In the last years, several different stents/shunts have been introduced. In trabeculectomy, a relatively large filtering channel is made to drain the aqueous humour from inside the eye into the venous system. In the newer stents/shunts, only tiny openings are needed for the implanted shunts to drain the aqueous humour – these filtering surgeries with newer devices are named MIGS (Minimally Invasive Glaucoma Surgery).
Our group aims to study glaucoma patients with special focus on different types of surgery both in adults and in pediatric glaucoma eyes.