History and achievements

Fight for Sight as it exists today evolved through a merger of Fight for Sight and the British Eye Research Foundation in 2005.

Fight for Sight was founded in 1965 by the UK’s first ophthalmic pathologist, Norman Ashton. Born in 1913, Ashton qualified in medicine in 1939. In 1948 he was invited to be Director of Pathology at Moorfields Eye Hospital and the newly created Institute of Ophthalmology at the University of London, a post he held for 30 years. From his lab, Ashton published over 200 papers and trained numerous ophthalmic pathologists who dispersed around the globe.

An early breakthrough

In 1953 Ashton discovered that excessive oxygen given to compensate for breathing problems associated with premature birth can cause blindness. His team's observations led to the careful control of oxygen delivery to premature infants and saved the sight of many babies. Subsequent work supported by Fight for Sight has helped to develop techniques to salvage vision in premature babies with sight threatening retinopathy.

Here are some of the other main events that have shaped the charity's history.