Ophthalmology update

Date Published: 
Wednesday, October 14, 2020

In this podcast, Dr Rachael Niederer overviews three hot topics in ophthalmology, and considers management in the current COVID-19 climate.



  • COVID-19 and the eye- Is this conjunctivitis a manifestation of C-19? How can I protect myself and my conjunctivae from C-19?
  • Hydroxychloroquinine- requires careful monitoring of the eye. Arrange for screening at years 1 and 5 year post commencement of this treatment. Take any eye symptoms seriously and liase with your local ophthalmology service.
  • Herpes Zoster Opthalmicus - clinical presentation, treatment and referral criteria for this important eye emergency.


Take-home messages

  • Protect the eyes from droplet spread with every interaction.
  • Hydroxychloroquinine- baseline eye screening is important
  • Herpes zoster opthalmicus- if eye signs are detected at initial consultantion - an urgent referral should be made.
  • A patient who has had Herpes Zoster opthalmicus- has an increased risk of stroke in the 2-4/12 post. Flag this in the notes.





Rachael Niederer
Uveitis and Medical Retina Specialist

Rachael Niederer attended Auckland University Medical School from 1997-2002, and won the highly prized Sir William McKenzie award for 'Early Excellence in Eye Research'.
She completed her  PhD on Corneal Nerves and Keratoconus in 2008 and was awarded the Vice Chancellor's 'Best Doctoral Thesis' award.
Rachael completed her Ophthalmology vocational training in both Auckland and Hamilton and in the Ranzco final examination achieved a gold 'Howsam' medal  for the highest marks in  Australia and NZ.
In 2015 - 2016 Rachael completed her Fellowship at Moorfields Eye Hospital in London, specialising in Uveitis and Medical Retina. In 2016 she was appointed Senior Medical Ophthalmologist at Greenlane Hospital and in the same year was the Ranzco college representative for Auckland Ophthalmology trainees. In 2019 Rachael was appointed as Senior Lecturer at the University of Auckland, Dept of Ophthalmology.
Rachael's research interest is extensive and includes more than 50 publications in Int'l journals and over 60 presentations at NZ and International conferences. She is involved as an investigator for Zoster Eye Disease study and has a particular interest  Uveitis and Epidemiology of Eye Disease. Rachael is interested in and committed to decreasing inequalities within the community in the provision of eye care.

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This presentation is intended for qualified health practitioners professional development and should not be relied upon for any other purpose. Any opinions offered are those of the presenter or other speaker and do not necessarily represent the views of Goodfellow Unit.