Bright Sight

Oliver Backhouse, Consultant Eye Surgeon

About Me

Oliver Backhouse - BSc, MB BS, FRCOphth

Oliver Backhouse:
BSc, MB BS, FRCOphth

Professional Profile

Having qualified in 1992 as a doctor, I spent a year in Madagascar as a general Ophthalmologist and founded the registered charity MOSS (Madagascan Organisation for Saving Sight. UK Reg 1047555). I then worked at Great Ormond Street Children's hospital before moving up to Yorkshire where I continued my higher surgical training. I became a Fellow of the Royal College of Ophthalmologists in 1997. I have over 30 peer reviewed publications.

Since 2002 I have practiced as a Consultant at the Yorkshire Eye Hospital and St James's University Hospital where I run regional Macular Degeneration, Cataract, Uveitis, Neuro-ophthalmology and general ophthalmology clinics. I am also continuing to develop the link with Leeds University and Outreach hospitals in Madagascar.

Personal Profile

Much of my time outside hospital is spent with my three daughters and wife. I enjoy playing tennis and fishing and have started to learn golf and play the piano. I continue to paint and draw and have an amateur interest in archaeology and paleoanthropology. I have traveled widely in countries such as Indonesia, Tanzania, Thailand and Madagascar. I am able to speak intermediate level French.

I continue my interest in developing country ophthalmology with the charitable work of MOSS. I am actively involved in the Overseas Partnering and Training Initiative (OPTIN). This group, founded in 2002, aims to help coordinate and facilitate the working of interested people in helping health programmes in developing countries in accordance with the WHO 'Vision 2020 – the right to sight' project. I undertake regular teaching field trips to Madagascar, and have given MOSS and Vision 2020 lectures to ophthalmic professionals and various societies.


Useful Links

My published work

Please see below for a list of my published works, covering a range of ophthalmic topics and beyond.

  1. The Role of Medicine in Conservation and the Threat to Biodiversity in Madagascar. Medicine and Global Survival. 1995;2(4):243-247. Backhouse O.
  2. Causes of Decreased Vision and Blindness in Madagascar. Community Eye Health. 1996;9(17):14-16. Backhouse O.
  3. Orbital Rhabdomyosarcoma masked by Trauma. International Journal of Maxillo-facial Surgery. 1997;26:374-5. Backhouse O, Bowen D, Cove P.
  4. Topical Chloramphenicol: Have General Practitioners cried halt? Br J of Gen Practitioners.1997;July:461. Backhouse O, Metcalfe T.
  5. Factor V Leiden mutation in association with idiopathic intracranial hypertension. Br J Ophthalmol. 1998;82(7):844. Backhouse O, Metcalfe T, Goulding P, McEvoy M, Menage M.
  6. Optic nerve breast metastasis mimicking meningioma. Australian and New Zealand J Ophthalmol. 1998;26(3):247-9. Backhouse O, Simmons I, Cassles Brown A, Franks A.
  7. Ophthalmic Manifestations of Dermatomyositis. Ann of Rheumatic Diseases. 1998;57(8):447-9. Backhouse O, Griffiths B, Henderson T, Emery P.
  8. The Ophthalmology of Intracranial vascular abnormalities - Bleeding rates in Cerebral cavernous haemangiomas. Am J Ophthalmol. 1998;126(6):852. Backhouse O.
  9. Familial retinal cutaneous cavernous haemangioma syndrome. EYE.1998;12(6):1027-8. Backhouse O, O’Neill D.
  10. A case of reversible blindness in maple syrup urine disease. Br J Ophthalmol.1999;83:250-1. Backhouse O, Leitch J, Kriss A, Russell Eggitt I.
  11. Idiopathic Intracranial Hypertension. CME Ophthalmol  1999;3(3):61-2. Backhouse O, Menage M.
  12. Familial Thrombophilia in Retinal vein occlusion. EYE  2000;14:13-17. Backhouse O, Parapia L, Mahomed I.
  13. What factors influence cataract waiting list time? Br J Ophthalmol  2000;84:429-31. Churchill A, Vize C, Stewart O, Backhouse O.
  14. Prilocaine versus lignocaine for minor lid procedures. EYE  2000;14:594-6. Burton A, Backhouse O, Metcalfe T.
  15. Familial thrombophilia and idiopathic intracranial hypertension. Neuro-Ophthalmology 2001;25(3):135-41. Backhouse O, Johnson M, Jamieson S et al.
  16. Familial Thrombophilia and normal tension glaucoma.  Br J Ophthalmol.2001;85(1):118-9. Backhouse O, McVerry B, Menage M.
  17. Idiopathic intracranial hypertension and anticardiolipin antibodies. J Neurol Neurosurg Psyciatry 2001;70:420-1. Backhouse O.
  18. Familial Thrombophilia and the Eye. CME Ophthalmol 2001;5(1):27-30. Backhouse O, O’Neil D, McVerry B.
  19. Optic neuritis. Key Topics in Ophthalmology. 2nd Edition. Ed. Taylor R, Shah P, Murray P. βios scientific publishers. 2001;217-21. Backhouse O, Burdon M.
  20. Multiple Sclerosis and the visual system. Key Topics in Ophthalmology. 2nd Edition. Ed. Taylor R, Shah P, Murray P. βios scientific publishers. 2001;164-7. Backhouse O, Shah P.
  21. Idiopathic Intracranial Hypertension. Key Topics in Ophthalmology. 2nd Edition. Ed. Taylor R, Shah P, Murray P. βios scientific publishers. 2001;139-42. Backhouse O.
  22. Familial Thrombophilia in Idiopathic Intracranial Hypertension.  Neuro-Ophthalmol 2001;25(3):135-41. Backhouse O, Johnson M, Jamieson S, Menage M, Goulding P, McVerry B.
  23. Factor XII deficiency and recurrent sixth nerve palsy.Br J Ophthalmol. 2003 Mar;87(3):369-70. Kipioti A, Backhouse OC, Jacobs PM, Howard MR.
  24. Does Etanercept induce uveitis? Br J Ophthalmol. 2003 Jul;87(7):925. Reddy AR, Backhouse OC.
  25. Medically unexplained visual loss. Eye. 2006 Jul;20(7):859-60. Reddy AR, Backhouse OC.
  26. Tuberculosis: an under-diagnosed aetiological agent in uveitis with an effective treatment. Eye. 2006 Sep;20(9):1068-73. Varma D, Anand S, Reddy AR, Das A, Watson JP, Currie DC, Sutcliffe I, Backhouse OC.
  27. Poststreptococcal syndrome uveitis: a descriptive case series and literature review. Ophthalmology. 2006 Apr;113(4):701-6. Ur Rehman S, Anand S, Reddy A, Backhouse OC, Mohamed M, Mahomed I, Atkins AD, James T.
  28. Mutations in FRMD7, a newly identified member of the FERM family, cause X-linked idiopathic congenital nystagmus. Nat Genet. 2006 Nov;38(11):1242-4. Tarpey P, Thomas S, Sarvananthan N, Mallya U, Lisgo S, Talbot CJ, Roberts EO, Awan M, Surendran M, McLean RJ, Reinecke RD, Langmann A, Lindner S, Koch M, Jain S, Woodruff G, Gale RP, Degg C, Droutsas K, Asproudis I, Zubcov AA, Pieh C, Veal CD, Machado RD, Backhouse OC, Baumber L, Constantinescu CS, Brodsky MC, Hunter DG, Hertle RW, Read RJ, Edkins S, O'Meara S, Parker A, Stevens C, Teague J, Wooster R, Futreal PA, Trembath RC, Stratton MR, Raymond FL, Gottlob I.
  29. Diet-related mercury poisoning resulting in visual loss. Br J Ophthalmol. 2006 Nov;90(11):1432-4. Saldana M, Collins CE, Gale R, Backhouse O.
  30. "Ice-on-eyes", a simple test for myasthenia gravis presenting with ocular symptoms. Pract Neurol. 2007 Apr;7(2):109-11.Reddy AR, Backhouse OC.
  31. High-Resolution Microscopy Coil MR-Eye. Eye. 2007 Mar 2 E-Pub; Georgouli T, James T, Tanner S, Shelley D, Nelson M, Chang B, Backhouse O, McGonagle D.
  32. Contraceptive, cerebral vein thrombosis and choked discs. Eur J Ophthalmol. 2007 Jul-Aug;17(4):669-70. Reddy AR, Backhouse OC.
  33. Intraoperative floppy iris syndrome associated with tamsulosin. Can Fam Physician. 2007 Jul;53(7):1148. Brogden PR, Backhouse OC, Saldana M.
  34. Intravitreal triamcinolone acetonide as an adjunct in the treatment of severe ocular Toxoplasmosis. Eye. 2008 Sept 22(9):1201-2. Backhouse O, Bkan KJ, Bishop F.
  35. Interferon-gamma assay in tuberculous uveitis. Br J Ophthalmol 2008 Apr 92(4):582-3. Brogden P, Varma A, Backhouse O.
  36.  Oculoplastic surgery in Madagascar: a review. Com Eye Health 2009 Jun 22(70):S3-4. Norris J, Gale R, Nkumbe H, Backhouse O, Bernadin P, Chang B.
  37. The congenital pinhole: a persistent pupillary membrane. Clin Exp Optom 2010 Mar 93(2):100-1. Norris JH, Backhouse O.
  38. A hairy affair: tarantula setae-induced panuveitis requiring pars plana     vitrectomy. Int Ophthalmol. 2012 Apr;32(2):161-3.  Choudhury A, Koukkoulli A, Norris JH, Mokete B, Backhouse O.
  39. Obstructive sleep apnoea prevalence in non-arteritic anterior  ischaemic optic neuropathy: a response. Br J Ophthalmol. 2013 Jun;97(6):794. Kolb SD, Backhouse O.



With a high success rate in eye procedures, I am thankful to have many happy patients. Please read on for a selection of testimonials from some of my satisfied patients.

I was wearing monovision contact lenses to correct my sight. After many years of this my eyes were constantly sore and tired so that after work all I wanted to do was close them. Having had the CLARIVU multifocal lens surgery I can now relax and read on an evening. It is really nice to do everyday things without my eyes constantly stinging.

I am very satisfied and from start to finish the care was excellent.

Mrs Moira Bury. CLARIVU multifocal lens surgery

I needed glasses for everything I did and hated the feeling I was looking at the world from inside a box. Having had the CLARIVU multifocal lens implants, I am daily amazed at all the detail I can see around me which is so wonderful. All the care I got impressed me and nothing could have been improved. I have already recommended this operation to a friend!

Mrs C. Collins CLARIVU multifocal lens surgery

I can now swim and walk in the rain and see without the inconvenience of wearing glasses. Not knowing how the lens replacement surgery was going to feel was scary but quite frankly there is nothing to be scared about but you only know this afterwards. One felt assured by the professionalism of Mr Backhouse.

Mr P.Cross CLARIVU Lens surgery for myopic astigmatism

Dear Mr Backhouse,
I am writing to let you know how delighted I am with the results of my recent intraocular lens replacements. As you know, my situation prior to surgery was simply presbyopia, where my eyesight had been declining for around 8 years. At first, wearing glasses just to read in the evening wasn't a problem, but over the last couple of years I had become increasingly frustrated by my growing dependence upon either glasses or contact lenses. By the time I came to see you, it was a case of either glasses constantly perched on my head or contact lenses which tended to make my eyes dry and uncomfortable, and which sometimes fell out or folded themselves under my eyelid. Either way, my eyes felt tired and were declining further. Some sports and activities were becoming difficult or impossible. If only I could see by willpower alone!When you explained the option of intraocular lens replacement I had some reservations initially, partly because one wouldn't undergo a mediacl procedure lightly (and I'm a coward), and also I did wonder whether this would be a very self-indulgent choice, more about vanity than anything else, as it wasn't a medical necessity. Was the potential convenience of freedom from glasses or contact lenses sufficient reason to proceed, when declining eyesight is just a normal part of getting older and I was fortunate to have no other eye pronblems?

Having now undergone this procedure, (which was not painful, and after which the recovery time was minimal) I no longer need anything to correct my sight, and have been surprised at how much happier I feel, so perhaps my sight issues were not just a nuisance, slowing me down, but had also begun to sap a little of the joy and fun from my life. My advice to others considering lens replacements, would be - this is worth investing in.

Kate Green 50 from Harrogate. CLARIVU Lentis multifocal lens.

My increasingly restricted and clouded vision was leading to problems driving. Both cataract operations were completed without pain or discomfort and the immense benefits were almost instantaneous. I appreciate that no miracle has occured, but in a very real way it seems as though it has. I am very satisfied with the quality of care I received - consider me one of your newly converted disciples!

David Dixon. Bilateral Cataract Surgery.

Mr Binns had bilateral lens implant surgery to correct his long-sight as well as his astigmatism with the CLARIVU lens. The difference is amazing and has illustrated just how bad mysight was before the lens implant surgery. I have had poor sight all my life, suffering from astigmatism and have always worn glasses. I was not expecting such a vast improvement with my vision. The CLARIVU lens implants have resolved both my cataracts and astigmatism leaving me with crystal clear focused sight for the first time in my life. I now feel much happier - as though a dark depressing cloud has been lifted!

I was very impressed by the equipment used to measure the eyes for the custom made lenses which meant the implants were spot-on. Mr Backhouse explained everything particularly well so I was reassured by his confidence that he could improve my vision. Everybody at the Yorkshire Eye Hospital was very friendly and efficient.

Edward Binns 41 from Harrogate. CLARIVU astigmatism correcting lens implants.

"I just wanted to let you know how great everything has been since the surgery on Wednesday. My distance vision is wonderful - better than it has ever been with glasses. My close vision is just starting to develop although my pupil is still a little dilated. I can't wait to have the second eye done!

Thanks so much for 'talking me through' the operation. I was very nervous (as I'm sure you could tell!) but it made all the difference that you explained what was going to happen at each stage of the procedure. I was also really surprised how well my eye has recovered - I really had very little discomfort."

Mrs Rosie, Carleton, Skipton. CLARIVU lens for Short Sight

"I was particularly impressed by the friendliness and cleanliness of the Yorkshire Eye Hospital."

Mr Richardson, Boston Spa. Cataract Surgery.

"Playing Golf, I could not see the ball and now I can see every step of my game - this treatment has helped me play the sport I love. I am extremely grateful to Mr Backhouse for helping restore my sight. Mr Mitchell was treated with Avastin for his Retinal Vein Occlusion at the Yorkshire Eye Hospital."

Mr Mitchell, Fixby, Huddersfield. Avastin for Retinal Vein Occlusion.

"A specialist confirmed it was a cataract, I was very shocked, I thought this was something which happened to people much older than myself. The eye clinic staff were great. "The operation went very well and I was back driving within three days although I had to be careful."

Jon Newcombe, 38, from Leeds, West Yorks. CLARIVU lens implant.

"I was totally reliant on spectacles and was frustrated because the only glasses I could get were thick and heavy. I did wear contact lenses, but for the last couple of years I have not been able to wear them all day due to an air conditioned office. For David the CLARIVU results exceeded his expectations. He is now completely free from spectacles for driving and can ski, swim, go to the gym and run, all without any glasses at all."

David Warrior 41 from Adel, Leeds. CLARIVU Toric lens implant.

"Mr Backhouse was most reassuring and I had every confidence in him and his team. Throughout the procedure, he explained what was going on. I felt no pain and, after the CLARIVU operation, knew immediately that it had been a success. My daughter took me home and I could see all the road signs and car number plates, without any glasses, which was more than I had hoped to expect."

David Bailey, 68, Lincolnshire. CLARIVU lens implant.

"Before I was unable to read with anydegree of comfort. I felt as if I was walking in a mist. I can now read with comfort and clearly see the traffic. I feel more independent and safer to move about. it is Wonderful! I can now see things I have not seen for years. It has uplifted me in all ways!  I am very satisfied and would recommend Oliver Backhouse to others."

Mrs Bush, Bradford. Cataract Surgery.


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0845 456 1729


Both cataract operations were completed without pain or discomfort and the immense benefits were almost instantaneous.

David Dixon. Bilateral Cataract Surgery.

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