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Feature Christmas 2009: Diagnosis

Animated ophthalmology

BMJ 2009; 339 doi: (Published 14 December 2009) Cite this as: BMJ 2009;339:b4948
  1. Daniel G Ezra, clinical lecturer in translational ophthalmic research123,
  2. Geoff Rose, consultant ophthalmologist3,
  3. Andrew Coombes, consultant ophthalmologist4,
  4. Gordon Plant, consultant ophthalmologist35
  1. 1National Institute for Health Research Biomedical Research Centre for Ophthalmology, Moorfields Eye Hospital and UCL Institute of Ophthalmology, London
  2. 2Department of Cell Biology, UCL Institute of Ophthalmology, London EC1V 9EL
  3. 3Moorfields Eye Hospital NHS Trust, London EC1V 2PD
  4. 4St Bartholomew’s and the Royal London NHS Trust, London E1 1BB
  5. 5National Hospital for Neurology and Neurosurgery, London
  1. Correspondence to: D G Ezra d.ezra{at}

    Daniel Ezra and colleagues warn that eye problems in cartoon characters often go undiagnosed

    Ophthalmology has had a long tradition of studying the differences in presentation and natural course of disease in national and ethnic groups. The globe and orbit vary considerably in different groups, and this can predispose to different diseases.1 Large population based studies have been carried out in diverse groups such as Mongolian,2 Latino,3 and Inuit4 patients as well as patients from different geographical locations from Scandinavia to Ouagadougou.5 6 However, one group that remains overlooked is cartoon characters, whose health problems have been marginalised for decades.

    Moorfields Eye Hospital is the largest specialised eye hospital in the world with over 250 000 patient episodes a year. The unique volume and mix of clinical material seen at our institution, coupled with the academic resources provided by partnership with the Institute of Ophthalmology at University College London, has allowed us present the first case series of eye disorders in cartoon characters.

    The aim of this case series is to highlight the varied and serious ophthalmic diseases that afflict cartoon characters and to show that many of these blinding conditions are treatable. Informed consent was taken from each patient, and the study was conducted in accordance with the declarations of Helsinki and Narnia.

    Case 1

    An achondroplasic white man in his late 50s presented to a primary care ophthalmology clinic (fig 1). His presenting complaint was drooping eyelids, which had begun to interfere with his work. The ptosis was also affecting his confidence, and he was now being called Sleepy at work. He had a complex social history; he was of central European origin and had been doing heavy manual work and mining for many years. On direct questioning, he admitted snoring heavily at night with …

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