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James Wolffsohn - Aston University. Birmingham, , GB

James Wolffsohn

Professor and Head of Optometry | Aston University


Professor Wolffsohn's research areas are the development and evaluation of ophthalmic instrumentation, contact and intraocular lenses.







Professor James Wolffsohn talking about Swept Source III Session - ENVIRONMENTAL CAUSES OF DRY EYE SYNDROME, James Wolffsohn




Professor Wolffsohn, formerly Deputy Executive Dean for Life Sciences and then associate Pro-Vice Chancellor, is the Head of the School of Optometry. Prior to his appointment to Aston University, Professor Wolffsohn was a Clinical Research Fellow at the University of Melbourne in Australia. His main research areas are the development and evaluation of ophthalmic instrumentation, contact lenses, intraocular lenses, and the tear film. He is a National Teaching Fellow, has published more than 280 full peer-reviewed papers and presented at numerous international conferences. He is the academic Chair of the British Contact Lens Association, having been a past president, was a harmoniser and sub-committee chair for TFOS DEWS II and was chair of the BCLA Contact Lens Evidence-based Academic Reports (CLEAR). He is the International Myopia Institute’s Chief Scientific Officer and was joint-Chair of their white papers.

Areas of Expertise (5)

Ocular Allergy

Ophthalmic Instrumentation

Contact Lenses‎

Intraocular Lenses

Dry Eyes

Education (4)

Aston University: MBA, Business 2009

University of Melbourne: PgDip,, Clinical Optometry 2000

Cardiff University: PhD, Optometry 1997

The University of Manchester: BSc (Hons), Optometry 1993

Media Appearances (5)

Distinguished experts to lead WCO and Alcon dry eye disease education initiative

Insight  online


“As eyecare practitioners, we need to be unified in our differential diagnosis and evidence-based in our management of this chronic disease. The partnership between the WCO and Alcon offers great potential to raise the profile of dry eye disease and to improve the quality of eyecare provided to patients worldwide,” Wolffsohn said.

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Simple 20-20-20 screen rule really does help with eye strain, research shows

EurekAlert!  online


Researchers noted that after the study, the participants’ eye symptoms returned to what they had been before the intervention. Professor Wolffsohn says: “We are planning to conduct longer term studies to see whether we can teach eyelid muscle memory impulses to blink more often during digital viewing, to help mitigate this chronic issue without long term use of reminders.”

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Aston University supports Commonwealth Games eye health polyclinics

Optometry Today  online


Professor James Wolffsohn, head of the School of Optometry and volunteer at the Games, said: “I am delighted that our expertise and equipment are being used to set up and run the eye health polyclinics.”

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Is it worth paying for expensive sunglasses?

BBC  radio


There is visible light, that we can see, but there is also ultraviolet light (a form of electromagnetic radiation), which we can't. UV radiation has a shorter wavelength, which means it has a higher energy, and is damaging to our eyes. "When we buy a pair of sunglasses, ideally what it's going to do is reduce the overall amount of visible light, but also protect us from that UV light," explains James Wolffsohn, Professor of Optometry at Aston University.

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Professor James Wolffsohn appointed chief scientist of International Myopia Institute

Optometry Today  online


Wolffsohn explained that some of his earliest research was on accommodative microfluctuations in myopic children in Hong Kong. He said: “I have observed this field translate from the ‘lab’ to transforming the healthy visual outlook of many children, whilst the increase in myopia and its associated visual risks has reached epidemic proportions in large parts of the world.”

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Articles (3)

Questionnaire Design and Use to Assess Dry Eye Disease

Dry Eye Disease

2023 Symptomology is critical to the diagnosis of dry eye disease and is what separates it from general ocular surface disease. As the screening element of the diagnosis of dry eye, standardization is essential and the two TFOS DEWS II accepted questionnaires are the Ocular Surface Disease Index (cut-off ≥13 out of 100) or the DEQ-5 (cut-off ≥6 out of 22). This chapter identified that none of the existing questionnaires meet current best practice for patient reported outcome design and none stand out for their sensitivity. Hence, the choice of questionnaire for monitoring treatment should be based on the respondent burden (related to the number of questions) and recall frequency (to fit with the follow-up schedule).

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Prediction of anterior ocular surface sagittal heights using Placido‐based corneal topography in healthy eyes

Ophthalmic and Physiological Optics

2022 Purpose To investigate the validity of Placido-based corneal topography parameters to predict corneoscleral sagittal heights measured by Fourier-based profilometry at various diameters. Methods Minimal (Minsag), maximal (Maxsag) sagittal height, toricity (Maxsag − Minsag) and axis of the flattest meridian (Minsag) of 36 subjects (mean age 25.4 SD ± 3.2 years; 21 female) were measured using the Eye Surface Profiler and analysed for diameters (chord length) of 8 to 16 mm (in 2-mm intervals). Furthermore, corneal central radii, corneal astigmatism, eccentricity and diameter were measured using the Keratograph 5 M. Results Using multiple linear regression analysis, the best equation for predicting the sagittal heights for 8 mm (r2 = 0.95), and 10 mm (r2 = 0.93) diameters included corneal central radii and eccentricity. The best equation for predicting sagittal heights for 12 mm (r2 = 0.86), 14 mm (r2 = 0.78) and 16 mm (r2 = 0.65) diameters included corneal central radii, eccentricity and corneal diameter. Corneal astigmatism was significantly correlated with sagittal height toricity for 8 and 10 mm diameters (r2 = 0.50 and 0.29; p 

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Scheimpflug imaging for grading and measurement of corneo-scleral-profile in different quadrants

Contact Lens and Anterior Eye

2022 Purpose The corneo-scleral-profile (CSP) describes the transition from cornea to sclera, while the corneo-scleral junction angle (CSJ), is the angle formed between the cornea and the sclera. The aims of this study were (i) to analyse the CSP and CSJ in different quadrants and (ii) to test correlation and repeatability of an established observational grading and measurement method, using Scheimpflug images. Methods The nasal, temporal, superior and inferior CSP of 35 healthy eye participants (mean age 25.5 SD ± 3.1 years; 20 female) was imaged using the corneo-scleral-profile module of the Pentacam (Oculus, Wetzlar, Germany). On the captured Scheimpflug images CSP was subjectively graded into five different corneo-scleral transitions, using the Meier grading scale (profile 1 fluid-convex; profile 2 fluid-tangential; profile 3 marked-convex; profile 4 marked-tangential; profile 5 concave). The CSJ was measured on the same images using ImageJ v1.8.0. Grading and measurement was repeated at a second session. Intra-observer reliability for the CSP-grading was analysed by Cohen’s Kappa. Differences between repeated CSJ-measurements and different quadrants were analysed by paired-t-test and ANOVA. The eta-coefficient was used to determine the association between subjective CSP-grading and CSJ-measurement. Results Intra-observer reliability for the CSP grading system was poor (kappa = 0.098) whereas repeated measurements of CSJ angle showed no statistically significant difference between sessions (0.04°; 95 % CI − 0.21° to 0.29°; p = 0.77). CSJ angles ranged from 172° to 180° with no statistically significant differences between nasal, temporal, superior and inferior (p = 0.24). Eta-coefficient indicated a weak association between CSP-grading and CSJ-measurement (η = 0.27; p = 0.04). Conclusions The subjective CSP-grading showed poorer repeatability than the objective CSJ-measurement, which did not detect any differences in angles between the meridians. The weak association between CSP-grading and CSJ-measurement is likely caused by the limited intra-observer reliability of the Meier grading scale. Furthermore, the CSP-grading scale seems to consider other aspects beside the CSJ angle, such as scleral radius.

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