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portrait of Dr Ahalya Subramanian

Dr Ahalya Subramanian

Senior Lecturer, Divisional Lead Optometry

School of Health Sciences, Division of Optometry and Visual Sciences

Contact Information

Contact

Visit Ahalya Subramanian

M113, Myddelton Street Building

Postal Address

City, University of London
Northampton Square
London
EC1V 0HB
United Kingdom

About

Overview

Ahalya is a registered optometrist and currently a senior lecturer at City, University of London . Since joining City in 2006 she has held several senior roles including most recently the role of divisional lead for Optometry from 2016-2019. Ahalya has a specialist interest in visual impairment and runs the visual impairment clinic at City University London.

Ahalya studied at the Elite School of Optometry in Chennai India where she gained a first class degree in 1998. She subsequently worked at the Elite School of Optometry as a lecturer dividing her time between clinical work, teaching and doing research. In 2000 she came to the UK to take up a position as a research assistant at the University of Manchester and during this period completed a PhD in visual impairment under the guidance of Professor Christine Dickinson. She moved to Anglia Ruskin University in 2004 and worked as a research fellow investigating reaching in grasping in visually impaired people.

In early 2006 she passed the Non-EEA exams at first attempt and registered with the General Optical Council. Later that year she joined City University London where she has worked as a Lecturer and Programme Director for the undergraduate optometry course. She was promoted to a senior lecturer in 2010. Her main area of work has been on improving the quality of life of visually impaired people and their caregivers with particular emphasis on improving reading ability and the use of technology.

Qualifications

  1. Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy, Higher Education Academy, United Kingdom, Oct 2018
  2. PhD, University of Manchester, United Kingdom, Nov 2000 – Feb 2004
  3. BS, Elite School of Optometry, India, Sep 1994 – Aug 1998
  4. Fellow of the College of Optometrists, College of Optometrists, United Kingdom

Employment

  1. Divisional Lead, City, Univesrity of London, Sep 2016 – Dec 2019
  2. Senior Lecturer, City University London, Aug 2010 – present
  3. Lecturer, City University London, May 2006 – Jul 2010

Memberships of professional organisations

  1. 2006: General Optical Council
  2. Fellow of the College of Optometrists, College of Optometrists
  3. Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Authority, Higher Education Authority

Languages

Hindi (can read, write, speak and understand spoken).

Research

Research overview

Ahalya's current research has concentrated on the following themes

- Improving reading ability in people who are visually impaired specifically people who suffer from Age Related Macular Degeneration (Eccentric Viewing) and have visual field loss due to stroke.  

- Improving the quality of low vision services for visually impaired people in the United Kingdom

- How colour vision is affected in people with Diabetic Mellitus with no retinopathy and different grades of retinopathy and how treatment may influence changes in colour vision

- Screening for visual impairment in children

Apart from the themes mentioned above her research over the past five years has looked at quality of life in visually impaired adults and children, reaching and grasping behaviour in visually impaired adults and repeatability of the MNREAD reading charts in visually impaired and normally sighted adults. She has also been involved in investigating how fixation disparity is used as a test of binocular vision in optometry clinics.

Research areas

- Reading in people who are visually impaired
- Quality of life of visually impaired people
- Colour vision in Diabetic Retinopathy
- Eye screening services for children in the United Kingdom

Grants

- 2012-2014: Macular Disease Society (with Christine Dickinson (PI) and Robert Harper)- Evaluating the Revision programme

- 2011: College of Optometrists: Vertical Reading in people with homonymous hemianopia

- 2009-2011: RNIB (with Miriam Conway):The role of the Eye Care Liaison Officer

- 2009: Royal Society Vertical Reading in normally sighted adults

Research centres

- Optometry and Visual Sciences: Measurement Techniques in Clinical Optics

Principal collaborators

- Prof John Barbur, City University London, UK
- Prof Dave Edgar, City University London, UK
- Dr Miriam Conway, City University London, UK
- Prof Gordon Legge, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, USA
- Prof Shahina Pardhan, Anglia Ruskin University, Cambridge, UK
- Prof Christine Dickinson, University of Manchester, UK
- Dr Robert Harper, University of Manchester, UK
- Prof Gordon Plant, UCL, UK
- Dr Shoba Sivaprasad, Kings College London, UK

Research Students

Rebecca Sumalini

Attendance: Feb 2019 – Jan 2022

Thesis title: Validating clinical tools to measure visual functions in children with special needs

Role: 1st Supervisor

Ahmed Abdel-Hay

Thesis title: Early detection of Diabetic Retinopathy in Diabetic patients

Further information: Ahmed is investigating the role of colour vision in early detection of Diabetic Retinopathy in patients with Diabetes

Arjan Keuken

Thesis title: Age-related normal limits for spatial vision: Separating the effects of normal ageing from changes caused by disease’

Jamie Enoch

Publications

Conference papers and proceedings (39)

  1. Subramanian, A., Caute, A., Binns, A., Woolf, C., Naidoo, M. and Marshall, J. (2019). Roving reading: Exploring the use of portable smart camera technologies for adults with aphasia and/or visual impairments ESLRR. ESLRR Manchester.
  2. Akthar, F., Subramanian, A. and Walker, R. (2019). Reading with central vision loss: a comparison of horizontal-scrolling, single-word sequential (RSVP) and static text formats. ESLRR Manchester.
  3. Dickinson, C. and Subramanian, A. (2019). Mobile Electronic Devices for Visual Impairment (MED4VI): A survey of users and professionals. ESLRR Manchester.
  4. Caute, A., Subramanian, A., Binns, A., Naidoo, M., Woolf, C. and Marshall, J. (2019). Roving reading: Exploring the use of portable smart camera technologies for adults with aphasia and/or visual impairments British Aphasiology conference. ESLRR Manchester.
  5. Hathibelagal, A.R., Bharadwaj, S.R., Subramanian, A., Sadler, J. and Barbur, J. (2019). Age-related changes in flicker sensitivity with rod- and cone-enhanced stimuli.
  6. Yadav, A.R., Hathibelagal, A., Bharadwaj, S., Subramanian, A., Sadler, J. and Barbur, J. (2019). Flicker sensitivity in normal aging eyes using rod-cone flicker test. IERG.
  7. Hathibelagal, A., Bharadwaj, S., Subramanian, A. and Barbur, J. (2019). Rapid assessment of rod and cone-mediated vision in patients with known diseases of the retina. IERG.
  8. Ctori, I., Ahmad, S., Subramanian, A. and Oskis, A. (2019). Associations between adult attachment style and vision-related quality of life in visually impaired individuals. ARVO.
  9. Ctori, I., Subramanian, A. and Jones, P. (2019). Teaching empathy by Simulated Practice in Optometry. European Academy of Optometry and Optics Rome.
  10. Ctori, I., Subramanian, A. and Jones, P. (2019). Teaching empathy by simulated practice in optometry. The TESPO project. Virtual and Augmented Reality to Enhance Learning and Teaching in Higher Education. Swansea.
  11. Keuken, A., Subramanian, A. and Barbur, J.L. (2018). Monocular and binocular limits for spatial vision: Effects of 'normal' aging on photopic and mesopic visual acuity and contrast sensitivity.
  12. Keuken, A., Subramanian, A. and Barbur, J. (2018). Effects of ‘normal’ ageing on photopic and mesopic visual acuity and contrast sensitivity. ARVO.
  13. Subramanian, A. (2017). Involving visually impaired service users in a review of the visual impairment curriculum. Vision 2017 Hague.
  14. Keuken, A., Subramanian, A. and Barbur, J. (2017). Normal upper age-limits for photopic and mesopic visual acuity and functional contrast sensitivity.
  15. Conway, M., Subramanian, A., Donoghue, E.O. and Donaldson, L. (2017). Attitudes of parents toward eye care in children under 7 years old in the Republic of Ireland.
  16. Dickinson, C.M., Subramanian, A. and Harper, R.A. (2015). Evaluating the effectiveness of the Macular Society Eccentric Viewing Rehabilitation Training - the evaluation study. ESLRR 2015 25-27 September, Keeble College, Oxford.
  17. Abdel-Hay, A., Sivaprasad, S., Subramanian, A., Konstantakopoulou, E., Edgar, D. and Barbur, J. (2015). Chromatic sensitivity changes in Type I and Type II diabetics. ARVO.
  18. Abdel-Hay, A., Sivaprasad, S., Subramanian, A., Konstantakopoulou, E., Edgar, D. and Barbur, J. (2013). Chromatic sensitivity in diabetic patients treated with Ozurdex. ARVO.
  19. Subramanian, A., Gillespie-Gallery, H. and Conway, M. (2013). The emotional costs associated with providing emotional and other relevant support in eye clinics-findings from the United Kingdom. EAOO Malaga.
  20. Conway, M.L., Gillespie-Gallery, H., Yang, Y.C., Reddy, G., Mathews, J. and Subramanian, A. (2012). Investigating Eye Clinic Liaison Officers (ECLOs) using quality of life questionnaires? ARVO Meeting.
  21. Gillespie-Gallery, H., Subramanian, A. and Conway, M.L. (2012). A Comparative Analysis Of Rehabilitation Services For Visually Impaired People Worldwide. ARVO Meeting.
  22. Subramanian, A., Gillespie-Gallery, H. and Conway, M.L. (2012). The role of the Eye Cinic Liaison Officer (ECLO) - A diary study. ARVO Meeting.
  23. Gillespie-Gallery, H., Subramanian, A. and Conway, M. (2010). Evaluating the Impact of Eye Care Liaison Officers. Vision UK 2010 Conference Birmingham, UK.
  24. Gillespie-Gallery, H., Conway, M. and Subramanian, A. (2010). The opinions of eye care professionals on patient related, low vision services in the UK. Optometry Tomorrow York,UK.
  25. Gillespie-Gallery, H., Conway, M.L. and Subramanian, A. (2010). Services for Visually Impaired People in the UK: Is There Room for Improvement? ARVO Meeting.
  26. Chadha, R.K., Steen, J. and Subramanian, A. (2009). Evaluation of the Effect of Visual Impairment on Quality of Life of Children Aged 3-16.
  27. Subramanian, A. and Pardhan, S. (2008). The repeatability of the MNREAD acuity charts in subjects with low vision. Vision 2008, 9th International Conference on Low Vision Montreal.
  28. McNally, K.J., Latham, K., Gonzalez-Alvarez, C., Subramanian, A. and Pardhan, S. (2008). A Comparative evaluation of Nidek MP1 microperimetery to the Humphrey VFA24-2 program in normals and macular disease. Vision 2008, 9th International Conference on Low Vision Montreal.
  29. Subramanian, A. and Pardhan, S. (2005). How repeatable are indices of reading ability in subjects with impaired vision? ESO International Vision and Optometry Conference.
  30. Gonzalez-Alvarez, C., Subramanian, A. and Pardhan, S. (2005). How does stimulated visual impairment affect reaching and grasping movements? Vision 2005 London.
  31. Subramanian, A. (2005). How does visual acuity correlate to recognising a tin of beans in the central and peripheral visual field? Vision 2005 London.
  32. Subramanian, A. and Dickinosn, C. (2005). Is there a relationship between Visual Acuity and Vernier Acuity? Vision 2005 London.
  33. Subramanian, A. (2005). Spatial localisation in visual impairment. Vision 2005 London.
  34. Subramanian, A. and Pardhan, S. (2005). How repeatable are indices of reading ability in subjects with impaired vision? ESO International Vision and Optometry Conference Chennai, India.
  35. Subramanian, A. and Dickinson, C. (2004). Size Constancy in visual impairment: A comparison with normals. UK multi disciplinary Low-vision Rehabilitation and Research Conference Birmingham, UK.
  36. Subramanian, A. (2004). Size Constancy in visual impairment: A comparison with normals. UK multi disciplinary Low-vision Rehabilitation and Research Conference Birmingham, UK.
  37. Subramanian, A. and Dickinson, C. (2002). Vernier Acuity with a central scotoma. Vision 2002 21-25 July, Gothenburg.
  38. Gopal, L., Varma, M., Kumar, K.K., Lingam, V. and Subramanian, A. (2000). Inter and intra-operator reproducibility of the retinal nerve fibre layer using the GDx. Annual meeting of the American Academy of Ophthalmology.
  39. Gopal, L., Varma, M., Kumar, K.K., Lingam, V. and Subramanian, A. (2000). Inter and intra-operator reproducibility of the retinal nerve fibre layer using the GDx. Annual meeting of the American Academy of Ophthalmology.

Journal articles (27)

  1. Ctori, I., Ahmad, S., Subramanian, A. and Oskis, A. (2020). Associations between adult attachment and vision-related quality of life in visually impaired individuals. Psychology, Health and Medicine. doi:10.1080/13548506.2020.1778749.
  2. Hathibelagal, A.R., Bharadwaj, S.R., Yadav, A.R., Subramanian, A., Sadler, J.R.E. and Barbur, J.L. (2020). Age-related change in flicker thresholds with rod- and cone-enhanced stimuli. PloS one, 15(7). doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0232784.
  3. Donaldson, L., Subramanian, A. and Conway, M.L. (2018). Eye care in young children: a parent survey exploring access and barriers. Clinical and Experimental Optometry, 101(4), pp. 521–526. doi:10.1111/cxo.12683.
  4. Abdel-Hay, A., Sivaprasad, S., Subramanian, A. and Barbur, J.L. (2018). Acuity and colour vision changes post intravitreal dexamethasone implant injection in patients with diabetic macular oedema. PLoS ONE, 13(6). doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0199693.
  5. Subramanian, A. and Hull, C. (2017). Optical Low Vision hardware: what is currently available. Optometry in Practice, 18(2), pp. 83–92.
  6. Dickinson, C., Subramanian, A. and Harper, R.A. (2016). Evaluating the effectiveness of an established community-based eccentric viewing rehabilitation training model—the evaluation study. Investigative Ophthalmology and Visual Science, 57(8), pp. 3640–3649. doi:10.1167/iovs.15-18458.
  7. Calabrèse, A., Cheong, A.M.Y., Cheung, S.H., He, Y., Kwon, M.Y., Mansfield, J.S. … Legge, G.E. (2016). Baseline MNREAD measures for normally sighted subjects from childhood to old age. Investigative Ophthalmology and Visual Science, 57(8), pp. 3836–3843. doi:10.1167/iovs.16-19580.
  8. Abdel-hay, A., Sivaprasad, S., Subramanian, A., Edgar, D. and Barbur, J.L. (2015). Chromatic sensitivity changes in Type I and Type II diabetics. INVESTIGATIVE OPHTHALMOLOGY & VISUAL SCIENCE, 56(7).
  9. Subramanian, A., Legge, G.E., Wagoner, G.H. and Yu, D. (2014). Learning to read vertical text in peripheral vision. Optometry and Vision Science, 91(9), pp. 1097–1105. doi:10.1097/OPX.0000000000000344.
  10. Gillespie-Gallery, H., Subramanian, A. and Conway, M.L. (2013). Micro-costing the provision of emotional support and information in UK eye clinics. BMC Health Services Research, 13(1). doi:10.1186/1472-6963-13-482.
  11. Gillespie-Gallery, H., Conway, M.L. and Subramanian, A. (2012). Are rehabilitation services for patients in UK eye clinics adequate? A survey of eye care professionals. Eye (Lond), 26(10), pp. 1302–1309. doi:10.1038/eye.2012.141.
  12. Pardhan, S., Gonzalez-Alvarez, C., Subramanian, A. and Chung, S.T.L. (2012). How do flanking objects affect reaching and grasping behavior in participants with macular disorders? Investigative Ophthalmology and Visual Science, 53(10), pp. 6687–6694. doi:10.1167/iovs.12-9821.
  13. Conway, M.L., Thomas, J. and Subramanian, A. (2012). Is the aligning prism measured with the mallett unit correlated with fusional vergence reserves? PLoS ONE, 7(8). doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0042832.
  14. Pardhan, S., Gonzalez-Alvarez, C. and Subramanian, A. (2012). Target contrast affects reaching and grasping in the visually impaired subjects. Optometry and Vision Science, 89(4), pp. 426–434. doi:10.1097/OPX.0b013e31824c1b89.
  15. Chadha, R.K. and Subramanian, A. (2011). The effect of visual impairment on quality of life of children aged 3-16 years. British Journal of Ophthalmology, 95(5), pp. 642–645. doi:10.1136/bjo.2010.182386.
  16. Pardhan, S., Gonzalez-Alvarez, C. and Subramanian, A. (2011). How does the presence and duration of central visual impairment affect reaching and grasping movements? Ophthalmic and Physiological Optics, 31(3), pp. 233–239. doi:10.1111/j.1475-1313.2010.00819.x.
  17. Subramanian, A., Yu, D., Wagoner, and Legge, G.E. (2010). Reading Vertical and Horizontal Text in the Peripheral Visual Field. Investigative Ophthalmology & Visual Science, 51.
  18. Pardhan, S., Gonzalez-Alvarez, C. and Subramanian, A. (2010). How Does Visual Impairment Affect Reaching and Grasping Movements When the Visibility of the Target Object is Changed? Investigative Ophthalmology & Visual Science, 51.
  19. Gillespie-Gallery, H., Conway, M. and Subramanian, A. (2010). Services for Visually Impaired People in the UK: Is There Room for Improvement? Investigative Ophthalmology & Visual Science, 51.
  20. Subramanian, A. and Pardhan, S. (2009). Repeatability of reading ability indices in subjects with impaired vision. Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci, 50(8), pp. 3643–3647. doi:10.1167/iovs.08-2823.
  21. Subramanian, A. (2008). A taste of Vision 2008. Optician p. 29.
  22. González-Alvarez, C., Subramanian, A. and Pardhan, S. (2007). Reaching and grasping with restricted peripheral vision. Ophthalmic and Physiological Optics, 27(3), pp. 265–274. doi:10.1111/j.1475-1313.2007.00476.x.
  23. Subramanian, A. and Pardhan, S. (2006). The repeatability of MNREAD acuity charts and variability at different test distances. Optom Vis Sci, 83(8), pp. 572–576. doi:10.1097/01.opx.0000232225.00311.53.
  24. Subramanian, A. and Dickinson, C. (2006). Spatial localization in visual impairment. Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci, 47(1), pp. 78–85. doi:10.1167/iovs.05-0137.
  25. Gonzalez-Alvarez, C., Subramanian, A. and Pardhan, S. (2006). Can subjects with visual impairment scale object size and distance accurately when reaching and grasping under different viewing conditions. Journal of Vision, 6(6), p. 932.
  26. Gonzalez–Alvarez, C., Subramanian, A. and Pardhan, S. (2005). How Does Cognitive Demand Affect Reaching and Grasping Behaviour for Normal and Simulated Visual Impairment? Investigative Ophthalmology & Visual Science, 46.

    [publisher’s website]

  27. Subramanian, A. and Dickinson, C. (2004). Size constancy in visual impairment: a comparison with normally sighted individuals. Ophthalmic and Physiological Optics, 24(4), pp. 350–354.

    [publisher’s website]

Posters (2)

  1. Subramanian, A. Chromatic sensitivity in diabetic patients treated with Ozurdex. ARVO, 2013.
  2. Subramanian, A. The emotional costs associated with providing emotional and other relevant support in eye clinics-findings from the United Kingdom. EAOO, 2013.

Report

  1. Subramanian, A., Conway, M. and Gillespie Gallery, H. (2011). The role of Eye Care Liaison Officers on improving the quality of life of people with visual impairment..

Other (4)

  1. Subramanian, A., Conway, M., Gillespie-Gallery, H. and Yang, Y.C. (2012). Investigating Eye Clinic Liaison Officers (ECLOs) using quality of life questionnaires?
  2. Gillespie-Gallery, H., Subramanian, A. and Conway, M. (2012). A Comparative Analysis Of Rehabilitation Services For Visually Impaired People Worldwide.
  3. Subramanian, A., Gillespie-Gallery, H. and Conway, M. The role of the Eye Cinic Liaison Officer (ECLO) - A diary study.
  4. Dickinson, C.M., Subramanian, A. and Harper, R.A. Evaluating the effectiveness of the Macular Society Eccentric Viewing Rehabilitation Training.

Education

Modules taught on

Undergraduate Modules
OV2004 Clinical Skills (lab supervisor)
OV3021 Research Methods and Special Study (dissertation supervisor)
OV3022 Binocular Vision, Pediatrics & Visual Impairment (visual impairment module coordinator and clinic lead)
OV3025 Clinical and professional practice (module lead)

Foundation Degree Modules
OV2219 Visual Optics and Low Vision (low vision module coordinator)

Postgraduate Modules
OVM013 Visual Impairment (module lead)
APM002 - research and evidence based practice (dissertation supervisor)

Other Activities

Clinical activity

  1. Visual Impairment Clinic, City, University of London

Editorial activity (2)

  1. Ophthalmic and Physiological Optics, Optometry in Practice, Vision Research, Clinical and Experimental Optometry, Investigative Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences, Journal of Modern Optics, British Journal of Ophthalmology, BMC Ophthalmology, Current Science, PLOS One, Frontiers in Neuroscience, Reviewer for:.
  2. External examiner, External Examiner PG Optometry programmes, Aston University.

Events/conferences (5)

  1. The emotional costs associated with providing emotional and other relevant support in eye clinics-findings from the United Kingdom. (2013).
    Description: EAOO
  2. Chromatic sensitivity in diabetic patients treated with Ozurdex Co-Author. (2013).
    Description: (Poster) (ARVO)
  3. Investigating Eye Clinic Liaison Officers (ECLOs) using quality of life questionnaires? (2012).
    Description: Co-Author (Poster) (ARVO)
  4. The role of the Eye Clinic Liaison Officer (ECLO) - A diary study. Main Author. (2012).
    Description: (Poster) (ARVO)
  5. A Comparative Analysis Of Rehabilitation Services For Visually Impaired People Worldwide? (2012).
    Description: Co-Author (Poster) (ARVO)