Retinal arteriolar narrowing might be an early warning sign of the development of open-angle glaucoma, according to an analysis from the Blue Mountains Eye Study published in the January issue of Ophthalmology. The researchers analyzed retinal photos of nearly 2,500 participants and found that the risk for OAG at 10 years was about four times higher in patients whose retinal arteries had been narrowest when the study began, compared with those who had had the widest arteries.

It’s not clear if the changes are part of the cause of the disease or part of its normal progression. Still, “Our results suggest that a computer-based imaging tool designed to detect narrowing of the retinal artery caliber, or diameter, could effectively identify those who are most at risk for open-angle glaucoma,” says lead author Paul Mitchell, MD, PhD, of the Centre for Vision Research, University of Sydney. “Such a tool would also need to account for blood pressure and other factors that can contribute to blood vessel changes.” Early detection would allow eye doctors to treat patients before optic nerve damage occurs and protect their vision, Dr. Mitchell says.

David Damari, OD, has been appointed dean of the Michigan College of Optometry at Ferris State University, effective March 28. Dr. Damari was most recently chair for the Department of Assessment and professor at Southern College of Optometry in Memphis, Tenn. He has served as president for the College of Optometrists in Vision Development and as co-chair at the Summer Institute for Faculty Development for the Association of Schools and Colleges of Optometry.