Clinical trial of treatment for ‘surfer’s eye’ - University of the Sunshine Coast, Queensland, Australia

Accessibility links

USC News

Clinical trial of treatment for ‘surfer’s eye’

11 Mar 2019

A condition called pterygium – also known as “surfer’s eye” – is now in the sights of USC’s Clinical Trials Centre, which has joined an international trial of a non-surgical treatment for the ailment.

The centre will work with Associate Professor Leo Hartley of H2 Vision Centres at Chancellor Park to assess an investigational medicine that aims to reduce the eye redness associated with the condition.

Associate Professor Hartley said people with pterygium experienced thin growths of clear tissue with redness, due to small blood vessels that start at the corner of the eye and grow towards the centre of the cornea. If left untreated, it can lead to blindness.

This potential new treatment aims to reduce the growth of these small blood vessels.

“As part of the clinical trial, patients will be randomly selected to receive an eye drop containing either the new drug, or a lubricant similar to artificial tears. Both treatments will be given three times a day for 28 days,” he said.

“This potential new treatment may turn out to be a game-changer in the management of pterygium, for which the only current treatment is surgery. We are looking forward to seeing the results.”

USC Clinical Trials Centre Director Lucas Litewka said the Sunshine Coast was well suited to this trial, due to its beautiful sunny beaches and outdoor lifestyle.

“While the Sunshine Coast is all about sun, sand and surf, too much exposure to these things without adequate eye protection can be damaging to your eyes,” he said.

Mr Litewka said the condition was not restricted to surfers, and could affect anyone who experienced plenty of UV exposure, especially in dusty areas.

People interested in participating can go to USC’s Clinical Trials Centre or call (07) 5456 3797. This study has been approved by Bellberry Human Research Ethics Committee. Pictured is the USC CTC's Senior Clinical Research Coordinator Jessica Baird, right, showing the product to a patient.

Related articles

Who’s stealing the spanner crabs?
25 Nov

A USC study will determine if sharks are wrongly getting a bad rap for taking a bite out of Australia’s commercial spanner crab industry.

Hashtag yoga: Study into effects of Instagram images on women
24 Nov

A lack of diversity in social media depictions of yoga has prompted a USC researcher to begin a study into the effect this might have on women’s body image and participation in yoga.

Funding to drive Indigenous and transcultural lens in PhD research
17 Nov

A USC-led project to help PhD students strengthen their research with First Nations and transcultural perspectives has received an enormous boost from the Australian Research Council (ARC).

Contact the USC media team

Name Position Email Phone
Terry Walsh Manager, Media and Messaging twalsh@usc.edu.au +61 7 5430 1160
Janelle Kirkland Media Relations Coordinator jkirklan@usc.edu.au +61 7 5459 4553
Clare McKay Media Relations Officer (Regional) cmckay@usc.edu.au +61 7 5456 5669

Search results for

Recent news