A Cheltenham and Gloucester-based optometrist has been awarded a Doctorate in Optometry for research exploring the link between diet and risk factors of age-related macular degeneration (AMD).
Dr John Everett (pictured centre, receiving his award with his study supervisors, Dr Hannah Bartlett and Dr Frank Eperjesi), who works for Norville Opticians, completed his Doctor of Optometry through Aston University, following six years of study.
The final part of the professional doctorate, which is academically equivalent to a PhD, requires candidates to design and undertake a piece of research. Deciding to build upon an existing interest in the effects of nutrition on the eye and its vision, Dr Everett chose to investigate how the level of the yellow macular pigment in the retina, which originates from dietary sources, could be linked with risk factors affecting the onset and progression of AMD.
Commenting on the research, Dr Everett said: “The possibility that something like AMD could be staved off in some patients just by eating the right things is very exciting and I now have a far greater understanding of the eye disease. I am looking forward to being able to use my new knowledge and training to the benefits of all of my patients, old and new.”
He continued: “150 of my patients took part in the study and I owe them my thanks.”
Dr Everett is planning to continue with his research and is currently working on several papers from the results of his study.