Dr Katharine Evans
Telephone:+44 (0)29 2087 6237
Fax:+44 (0)29 208 74859
Location:Room 3.07, Maindy Road
I graduated from the School of Optometry and Vision Sciences, Cardiff University with First Class Honours in 2001. I completed my pre-qualifying exams in 2002 and was awarded the British Optical Association Foundation Prize. I worked as an optometrist in private practice until I returned to Cardiff University in 2005 to undertake a PhD. I completed my PhD entitled “Cystic Fibrosis and the Eye” in 2009 and during that period I have presented at a number of international conferences. Throughout my PhD I continued to work as a locum optometrist in private practice. I was appointed as a Lecturer at Cardiff University in September 2009 and am module leader of second year contact lenses. I also continue to work as a locum optometrist.
My primary research interest involves analysis of the tear film and ocular surface, particularly during contact lens wear or in conditions such as dry eye. Dry eye is a very common and thought to affect up to 30% of adults over the age of 65 years. Characterised by symptoms of discomfort, visual disturbance and ocular surface inflammation dry eye has a significant impact on quality of life. As a member of the Contact Lens and Anterior Eye Research (CLAER) Unit I am particularly interested in contact lens induced dry eye (CLIDE). It is thought that the major cause of contact lens drop out is due to discomfort leading to limited consumer growth in this area. My research aims to refine diagnostic methods to detect dry and CLIDE and assess various therapies or strategies used to treat or manage such conditions.
I recently completed a PhD that investigated visual function, ocular surface and tear film characteristics in children and adults with Cystic Fibrosis (CF). CF is the most common, lethal inherited disease in the caucasian population and is caused by a defective epithelial membrane channel known as CFTR. It is characterised by progressive pulmonary failure and premature death and further complicated by vitamin A deficiency (VAD) and Cystic Fibrosis-Related Diabetes (CFRD). More recently, CFTR has been discovered in a number of ocular epithelia. My research investigated if common ocular characteristics of the disease were caused by CFTR or secondary disease characteristics such as VAD or CFRD. Due to modern disease management and therapeutic treatment CF survival rates are steadily increasing. As eye care practitioners are more likely to encounter CF patients a detailed understanding of how the disease affects the eye is imperative.
As an early career researcher I have been supported by grants from Laboratoires Thea and various contact lens companies including Alcon, Ciba Vision and CooperVision. A further area of research includes investigating the behaviour of contact lens wearers Poor patient compliance is a major risk factor for microbial keratitis, a potentially devastating condition caused by pathogenic infection of the cornea. It is hoped that a clearer understanding of wearer behaviour and the consequences of non-compliance will reduce the risk of such infections. I particularly enjoy public engagement activities and have worked with a number of companies including Johnson and Johnson and Bausch and Lomb to deliver continuing education and training lectures, articles and practical workshops to optometrists. Furthermore, I actively promote optometry and my research through my duties as a STEMNET Ambassador and Ambassador for the College of Optometrists Careers in Optics programme.
Evans, KSE; North, RV; Purslow, C.
Tear Ferning in Contact Lens Wearers.
Ophthalmic and Physiological Optics (2009) 29 (2): 199-204