Life and Style

The sight of thousands of people with previously incurable forms of blindness could be saved thanks to a pioneering new gene therapy that requires just one operation.

The blind man who was given the gift of sight by gene therapy

A pioneering gene therapy trial has helped a blind man to see in a breakthrough that brings hope to millions affected by eye diseases. British scientists have claimed a world first for the revolutionary treatment, which involved a single injection into the retina at the back of the eye.

Bionic eye allows blind people to see

Two blind patients have had revolutionary surgery involving the implantation of a bionic eye to help them to see.

Oliver Foot: President of Orbis International, the world's only flying eye hospital

As president of Orbis International, the flying eye hospital, Oliver Foot was responsible for saving millions of people worldwide from blindness, most of them in the developing world. To the charity he brought not only indomitable energy and charismatic and witty leadership, but fund-raising skills that, over the years, brought Orbis more than $200m in funding. He was a lifelong socialist and humanitarian, and a member of an impeccably left-wing aristocratic family; his uncle was the Labour leader Michael Foot. His other great passion was Jamaica, the country of his birth, an island he championed throughout his life and that, according to his wife Gail, "held his soul and heart".

Retina: A sight concern

Having lost the sight in one eye when I was 17, due to a detached retina, I am concerned about the sight in my other eye. Early this year, I was diagnosed with age-related macular degeneration (AMD) in that eye and referred to hospital, where I had scans but no treatment. Finally, I was referred to a specialist who did another scan. He suggested an injection into the eye, but said there was no guarantee it would work, and I could lose my sight altogether.

Sight loss: will blueberries do any good?

I am 74 and have been diagnosed with age-related macular degeneration (the dry form of the disease). My vision is slowly getting worse and I am finding it more and more difficult to read. Are there any nutritional remedies that will slow down the progression of this disease? I have heard that blueberries are good, but I don't want to spend time or money on hopeless remedies.

Freedom Next Time, by John Pilger

A hero's blinded eye

Will Montenegro unshackle from Serbia?

The people are bitterly divided as they prepare to vote in referendum on independence for the Balkan state

Shortage of donors deprives children of blindness cure

Babies born with eye disorders are at risk of permanent blindness because of a shortage of donors for transplant operations.

Tour de France: Belgium's spirits lifted by McEwen's sprint finish

Robbie McEwen may hail from the other side of the planet, but barring an actual Belgian, you could hardly have asked for a more local winner of the second stage of the Tour de France.

Aboriginal males unlikely to live beyond mid-40s, says report

After Fred Hollows, the distinguished ophthalmologist, visited the Northern Territory in 1968 to investigate Aboriginal health, he wrote: "It was like something out of the medical history books - eye diseases of a kind and degree that hadn't been seen in Western society for generations. The neglect this implied, the suffering and wasted quality of human life, were appalling." The Hollows Foundation, which he founded, said yesterday that little had changed. The foundation, which works in remote Aboriginal communities, said that indigenous health and life expectancy in Australia - one of the world's wealthiest nations - are worse than in countries such as Sudan, Bangladesh, Sierra Leone and Eritrea.

James Hudson

Eye surgeon and specialist in the management of retinal detachment
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