With the global population now above eight billion souls, there are some 16 billion human eyes on the planet. The number is predicted to peak at 20 billion by 2080, Putin allowing. Plenty of work for you all.

This week began with World Diabetes Day (November 14), which reminded us all that there are more than a billion eyes out there in people with diabetes. And, bearing in mind that there is thought to be the same number again in people with as yet undiagnosed diabetes, the potential for sight loss through this alarmingly common disease is truly frightening.

For this reason, the Access to Diabetes Care campaign is focusing on the importance of access to high quality, up-to-date education, both for healthcare professionals and people living with diabetes. Even if you disagree with a ‘nanny state’ approach to restricting access to ultra-processed food stuffs and encouraging access to exercise resources, you cannot disagree with the fact that eye care professionals are perfectly placed to help disseminate information about the signs and symptoms of diabetes and the best ways to minimise future risk of problems.

A fantastic (and free) resource that is well worth a look is available from the International Diabetes Federation, and I heartily recommend downloading the free atlas from diabetesatlas.org.

On a different note: any orthoptists working in practice or optometrists working alongside an orthoptist in practice, please get in touch (email below). The Institute of Optometry is undertaking one of the GOC-backed projects to inform future decisions about who can refract and your input is needed. I would be happy to put you in touch with the project leader.

And finally, I do love a good gadget. This week’s winner has to be the Rhinoswab Junior. In anticipation of the likely next wave of virus, nasal swabbing will be easy as kids will be able to do this by donning false moustaches or lips. Have a look online.

  • Do you have an idea for a clinical feature? Email the clinical editor bill.harvey@markallengroup.com.
  • For details of how to submit a case study and earn an interactive CPD point for each of the domains, go to the CPD area of opticianonline.net.