Like the first edition, this textbook is intended primarily for medical students, but it is also aimed at all those involved in the primary care of eye disease, including general practitioners, nurses and optometrists. The need for the primary care practitioner to be well informed about common eye conditions is even more important today than when the first edition was produced. A recent survey from North London has shown that 30% of a sample of the population aged 65 and over are visually impaired in both eyes and a large proportion of those with treatable eye conditions were not in touch with eye services. It is clear that better strategies for managing problems of eyesight need to be set up. One obvious strategy is the improved education of those conducting primary care and it is hoped that this book will contribute to this. For this second edition, I am grateful for the help of my coauthor Winfried Amoaku, whose personal experience in teaching medical students here in Nottingham has been invaluable. His expertise in the management of macular disease, now a major cause of sensory deprivation in the elderly, is also evident in these chapters.
The format of the book has not changed but some of the chapters have been expanded. For example, there is now a section dealing with the eye complications of acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS). This problem barely existed at the time of the first edition. Cataract surgery has changed a great deal in this short time and is becoming one of the commonest major surgical procedures to be performed in a hospital. The management of glaucoma has also changed with the introduction of a range of new medications. Our aim has been to keep the original problem-oriented layout and to keep it as a book to read rather than a book to look at. There are a number of good atlases on eye disease and some of these are mentioned in the section at the end on further reading. Although the title of the book is "Common Eye Diseases", some less common conditions are mentioned and it is hoped that the reader will gain some overall impression of the incidence of different eye diseases.
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