Specialising in Cataract and Strabismus Surgery & general Adult and Paediatric Ophthalmology

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Destiny Rescue

Posted by Dr Michael Forrest on 27 February 2014 | 0 Comments

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Next week my wife Angie Ryan will host a fundraising evening to support a charity called Destiny Rescue. We became aware of this charity around the time of my trip to Cambodia late last year because my son’s English teacher from 2013, Tanya Mathias, has taken leave this year to teach in Phnom Penh as a volunteer.

Cambodia

Posted by Michael Forrest on 30 December 2013 | 0 Comments

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Earlier this month I went to Cambodia as a volunteer on behalf of Sight for All (SFA) a charity I have blogged about before. The project I'm involved with sends Australian ophthalmologists to help locally-trained ophthalmologists develop sub-specialty skills. It's a great cause and SFA has demonstrated impressive results, with projects also ongoing in Myanmar, Vietnam, Laos, Bhutan, Nepal and other Asian countries. The founder and head of SFA is Dr James Muecke AM, a man of true vision and relentless energy who has succeeded in drawing together a team of ophthalmologists from all around Australia. It's a privilege to be included with the team, and it's a wonderful project to work on.
I hadn't been to Cambodia before this visit, I had little idea what to expect when I got there,  but I almost immediately fell in love with the place. Cambodians have suffered almost unimaginable trauma, and live in society governed by a political system almost universally recognized as dysfunctional, with endemic corruption and intimidation of dissenters. 
And yet this young country, with a median age of less than 24, remains optimistic for the future. Cambodia ruled most of Southeast Asia for almost 600 years, and the recognition of that history is an important part of the national psyche. Reminders of it reside above all in the image of Angkor Wat, which adorns the national flag, beer labels and bill boards. For the last 2 weeks Phnom Penh has seen rolling political rallies culminating in a huge protest yesterday in which supporters of the opposition and striking garment workers filled almost the entire length of one of the central boulevards. Did you see it on the news? No, neither did I.
Most of the world stopped looking closely at Cambodia some time ago, and left the task of assisting Cambodians in their ongoing recovery to NGOs and charities. Which is a shame, because I think we could be watching something like a Phoenix rising from its ashes. Well, at least we have twitter ... 

Earlier this month I went to Cambodia as a volunteer on behalf of  Sight For All (SFA) a charity I have blogged about before. The project I'm involved with sends Australian ophthalmologists to help locally-trained ophthalmologists develop sub-specialty skills. It's a great cause and SFA has demonstrated impressive results, with projects also ongoing in Myanmar, Vietnam, Laos, Bhutan, Nepal and other Asian countries. The founder and head of SFA is Dr James Muecke AM, a man of true vision and relentless energy who has succeeded in drawing together a team of ophthalmologists from all around Australia. It's a privilege to be included with the team, and it's a wonderful project to work on.

Vale Dr Hubel

Posted by Michael Forrest on 30 October 2013 | 0 Comments

Last month Dr David Hubel died, aged 87. He was a giant in visual neuroscience, and his work with Dr Torsten Wiesel led to the collaborators sharing (with Roger Sperry) the 1981 Nobel in Physiology or Medicine.

Oils ain't oils

Posted by Michael Forrest on 26 May 2013 | 0 Comments

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As I’ve written before, macular degeneration is the leading cause of blindness in Australia, and 1 in 7 Australians over 50 suffer from it. Although the wet, aggressive, neovascular form is justifiably feared, there are pharmacological treatments widely available that for many patients salvage or restore vision. The dry, atrophic, form remains untreatable, and in some patients it inexorably progresses to its most advanced form, geographic atrophy (GA). In patients with GA there may be no functional macula tissue remaining, and central vision is lost.

Antibiotic Resistance

Posted by Michael Forrest on 30 March 2013 | 0 Comments

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The emergence of "superbugs", bacteria resistant to multiple antibiotics, is shaping up as one of the greatest world-wide health-care challenges of the (still relatively) new century. Infectious Diseases (ID) Physicians warn of a coming "Red Plague" that threatens to effectively take us back to the pre-antibiotic era, when people died of what are currently considered minor infections, due to increasing Gram-negative resistance.

Hypertension

Posted by Michael Forrest on 10 February 2013 | 0 Comments

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Hypertension (high blood pressure) is one of the most common medical conditions seen by doctors in Australia and other Western industrialised countries, and causes more deaths than any other cardiovascular risk factor, including smoking and high cholesterol. Although we understand the role of lifestyle factors and have many medications available to treat hypertension, for many patients and doctors it remains frustratingly difficult to control, and in many patients remains undetected. In the American National Health and Nutrition Study (NHANES III)  68.4% of hypertensive patients were aware of their hypertension, 53.6% were being treated, and only 27.4% had control of their hypertension. These figures are worrying because inadequate control of hypertension can lead to “end-organ damage” including kidney disease, peripheral vascular disease, eye disease, stroke and heart attack.

World AIDS Day

Posted by Michael Forrest on 1 December 2012 | 0 Comments

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Today is World AIDS Day. Around 34 million people worldwide have HIV. 25 million have died from AIDS, 1.7 million of them in 2011. Just try to imagine what that number means. When I was a medical student and trainee ophthalmologist sight-threatening complications of HIV infection, such as CMV retinitis, acute retinal necrosis and progressive outer retinal necrosis, were fairly common, and many of our patients with AIDS ultimately died.

The trouble with kitty

Posted by Michael Forrest on 30 November 2012 | 0 Comments

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Since Channel 7’s recent story on toxoplasmosis many patients have asked me about this condition.

The Bionic Eye

Posted by Michael Forrest on 30 September 2012 | 0 Comments

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In 1993 when I was a medical student doing a term in the USA at the Mayo Clinic I attended a lecture from a visiting professor who discussed his project, the development of a functioning retinal prosthesis, or Bionic Eye. At the time it seemed to sounded like science fiction, almost like an eccentric dream.

Good Morning Vietnam

Posted by Michael Forrest on 18 August 2012 | 0 Comments

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Last week I went to Hanoi, Vietnam, as part of a Sight For All (SFA) training program at the Vietnamese National Institute of Ophthalmology (VNIO). SFA is a charity that aims to reduce the impact of avoidable blindness, through programs in Australia and overseas. It was founded by Dr James Muecke AM, an Adelaide Ophthalmologist. James is one of those guys who seems to have more hours in his day than the rest of us.

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Dr Forrest practices at Northside Eye Specialists, based at Chermside, North Brisbane, and at Blackwood Street, Mitchelton.

Northside Eye Specialists
Chermside Medical Complex
3/956 Gympie Road
Chermside QLD 4032
Phone: 07 3359 8886
Fax: 07 3359 5557

12 Blackwood Street 
(Postal address: PO Box 6134)
Mitchelton  QLD 4053
Phone: 07 3855 2605
Fax: 07 3855 3707