The School of Optometry & Vision Science at UNSW has a worldwide reputation as a leading centre for research and development in the field of the Ocular Surface and Contact Lenses. Members of the school have been involved in the development of silicone hydrogel lenses, multipurpose disinfecting solutions for contact lenses, and devices to maintain contact lens case hygiene. We have also conducted large scale epidemiology studies to understand rates and risk factors for contact lens keratitis.
Our research encompasses fundamental studies on the health of the ocular surface, and how it is impacted by contact lens wear, the tear film (its structure and function), corneal and conjunctival wound healing, the epidemiology of ocular infection, and the design and testing of antimicrobial surfaces for contact lenses and other biomaterials.
Another key research area within the Ocular Surface Research Group is dry eye. It is increasingly common in an aging population, affecting 500,000 individuals in Australia. Numerous factors influence the onset of dry eye symptoms, (which are especially common in post-menopausal women and contact lens wearers), for example, obesity, LASIK surgery and allergies .
Researchers at the UNSW School of Optometry & Vision Science are continuing to investigate these areas to understand the mechanisms of dry eye disease, the role of the tear proteome and neuropeptides, sex hormones and dietary supplementation in the modulation of dry eye.
We are supported by grants from the NHMRC and ARC spanning over 20 years. We are also supported by grants from industry (ophthalmic and non-ophthalmic).