The longer the time since the last outbreak, the better
A U.S. patent was granted to Gholam A. Peyman, MD, in June 1989 for a method of modifying the corneal curvature of the eye. The surgical procedure involved cutting a flap in the cornea, pulling the flap back to expose the corneal bed, ablating the exposed surface and then replacing the flap. The current procedure of laser assisted in-situ keratomileusis (LASIK) was not FDA approved until 1999.
The femtosecond laser has brought many significant advances to eye surgery. For more than a decade, it has been used to create lamellar corneal flaps for laser in situ keratomileusis (LASIK), and more recently this laser is used to precisely perform several steps in cataract surgery.
After much anticipation and a long wait for both clinicians and patients in need, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved corneal cross-linking (CXL) in mid April. This procedure is globally considered the only method of halting the progressive family of diseases called corneal ectasias, including keratoconus.
In a recent wave of drug price increases that can only be explained by pharmaceutical manufacturers’ desire for profit maximization and which doctors and patients may call price gouging, the drug price war has been brought to the doorsteps of many eyecare providers. As optometrists are increasing their practice of medical optometry, patients are now calling their doctors about prior authorizations and unaffordable drug copays.
Cataract surgery is one of the most successful surgeries performed in the United States. By 2020, it is estimated the number of people having cataract surgery will double, and by 2030 it will triple. The optometrist’s role in comanaging these patients will be of critical importance. Developing and maintaining your post-operative clinical care skills is imperative.
One of the most common questions I hear every day from patients is, “What is new in refractive surgery?” I have asked Jim Owen, OD, an expert in refractive surgery technology, to discuss the latest version of LASIK—topography-guided LASIK—with David Geffen, OD, FAAO, who participated in Alcon’s Contoura Vision clinical trials.
A referral of your patient to a cataract surgeon seems straightforward. You refer when the vision is subjectively affected by lens opacification. But thinking out of the box will enable you to help your patients in ways you may not consider.
For years, I have been an advocate of early cataract surgery in any symptomatic patients. As we all know, the progression of cataract development is an unavoidable process, so why delay the inevitable?
In a landmark paper titled “Global consensus on keratoconus and ectatic diseases” published in the April 2015 issue of Cornea, Gomes et al sought to reach a consensus of the definition, concepts, clinical management, and surgical treatments of keratoconus and the family of corneal ectatic diseases.