Health Partners Optical is the first in Australia to offer genetic risk prediction of glaucoma in optometry.
Health Partners Optical are proud to partner with Adelaide start-up SeonixBio to provide members with an early access program for genetic glaucoma risk identification developed using state-of-the-art South Australian research.1
Often known as ‘the silent thief of sight’, glaucoma is the leading cause of irreversible blindness worldwide.6 By age 40 about 1 in 200 have glaucoma, rising to 1 in 8 by the age of 80.2,3
Professor of Ophthalmology at Flinders University Professor Jamie Craig with CEO of SeonixBio Dr Nick Haan who specialises in Clinical Genetic testing and their teams have created a polygenic risk score assessment tool to assist with earlier management of Primary Open Angle Glaucoma (referred to as ‘glaucoma’ throughout this article).
Glaucoma is an eye condition in which loss of vision results from optic nerve damage, most often due to increased pressure within the eye. Find out more about glaucoma.
The polygenic risk assessment service is important as early vision loss often goes unnoticed until a significant amount of damage to the optic nerve has already occurred. Early diagnosis means appropriate prevention measures and treatment can start earlier.3,4
The sophisticated genetic test would allow Australia “to take a lead in this field… there is enormous potential to save sight” says Professor Jamie Craig.
The DNA test is looking at thousands of genetic variants in your genome to create a personalised polygenic risk score for glaucoma which estimates your genetic risk of developing glaucoma in the future or if you already have it, the risk your glaucoma might get worse relative to others in the community with similar ancestry.5
Your optometrist will take your polygenic risk score and with other clinical information consider:
Make a time with one of our optometrists who can determine if you would be a suitable candidate for the test.
The test is a simple self-test kit, swabbing each side of your lower gums 10 times. It isn’t intrusive or uncomfortable. You can perform the test in the comfort of your own home, or your optometrist can perform the test at your appointment. It is then sent off to a laboratory in Victoria for the results.
The program started on 4 December 2023, speak to your Health Partners Optometrist for more information. All of Health Partners’ optometrists are trained in the test, collection of samples and advising on the risk of glaucoma.
This test is not covered by Medicare or private health insurance. Call 1300 115 115 for information about the cost of the test.
Find out more about SeonixBio and their work.
1Pub Med, 2020, Multi-trait analysis of glaucoma identifies new risk loci and enables polygenic prediction of disease susceptibility and progression, retrieved from: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/31959993/
2Glaucoma Australia, 2023, What is glaucoma, retrieved from: https://glaucoma.org.au/what-is-glaucoma
3Glaucoma Australia, 2023, Risk Factors for Glaucoma, retrieved from: https://glaucoma.org.au/what-is-glaucoma/risk-factors-for-glaucoma
4Nature, 2020, Multitrait analysis of glaucoma identifies new risk loci and enables polygenic prediction of disease susceptibility and progression, retrieved from: https://www.nature.com/articles/s41588-019-0556-y#:~:text=A%20glaucoma%20polygenic%20risk%20score,common%20glaucoma-associated%20myocilin%20variant
5SightScore2023, ‘Understanding your genetic risk of glaucoma’ [Brochure]
6Pub Med, 2019, Glaucoma: The‘Black hole’ of irreversible blindness, retrieved from:
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