Human vision and function/Part 3: Vision in real life: case studies/3.3 Joe Bastoni

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Joe Bastoni



  • are the orthoptist working at a rural Victorian hospital
  • are employed in an ophthalmology clinic
  • both you and the ophthalmologist travel to this clinic once a month and stay for 1 week


  • Joe Bastoni is a 45 year old
  • He has been referred for his two yearly ophthalmic review by his general practitioner
  • He is Nick's father and Sam's son-in-law
  • He is of Koori heritage, and has been diagnosed with Non-insulin Dependent Diabetes (NIDDM) for 5 years
Joe Bastoni referral letter

You, as the orthoptist and Dr Buhajer (the ophthalmologist) examine Joe. You have recorded your ophthalmic notes and if you need more explanation about what it all means, click here.

Task 1

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Carefully read Joe's referral letter and ophthalmic notes. Make a note of any concepts you don't understand and discuss these with your group.

Task 2

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Consider the following questions with regards to Joe's case. Discuss each one in your group.

  1. The referring doctor seems concerned that Joe hasn’t had an eye check for 3 years. What is the recommended review period when diabetes is present?
  2. Is this the same recommendation if the patient is of indigenous heritage?
  3. If the presence of diabetes has caused diabetic retinopathy (DR), how does DR cause problems with vision? i.e. What is the mechanism for the damage?
  4. What are the prevalence rates for DR in Australia?
  5. What are the prevalence rates for vision loss from DR in Australia?
  6. Joe has been instructed to have a Fundus Fluoroscein Angiography (FFA) examination. Briefly describe what this examination reveals about DR.
  7. Joe is to undergo Pan Retinal Photocoagulation (PRP). Briefly describe WHAT this treatment is.
  8. Briefly describe HOW the treatment helps in DR.

Don't forget about those handy web based resources that can be found at the start of Part 3.

You might also find these helpful:

Pan-retinal photocoagulation

Laser management of diabetic retinopathy