Centre for Ocular Research & Education Warns of Mask-Associated Dry Eye
The Centre for Ocular Research & Education (CORE) is advising eye care professionals to be aware of mask-associated dry eye (MADE), which can worsen dry eye disease (DED) symptoms in patients who already have it, while also negatively affecting the elderly, contact lens wearers, and masked people working extended hours and/or while using digital devices.
CORE suggests doctors, in part, routinely ask all patients how their eyes feel while wearing a mask and provide advice on alleviating the symptoms. Also, the organization has made available, through Alcon, a downloadable MADE infographic in 22 languages at www.COVIDEyeFacts.org .
Inaugural Cornea Virtual Summit Offers Practical Educational Content
On December 12, key opinion leaders in the area of cornea will be sharing their patient experiences and practical management tips during the inaugural Cornea Virtual Summit (CVS), presented by Corneal Physician.
Led by Kendall E. Donaldson, MD, MS, and Cynthia Matossian, MD, the Cornea Virtual Summit will have 8 total CME presentations presented over one day, in two separate tracks, a breakout networking chat room and an exhibit hall.
“Join CVS now to collect practical, take-home clinical pearls from anterior segment experts,” urges Dr. Matossian. “CVS is not computer vision syndrome nor a drug store chain; it is the Cornea Virtual Summit scheduled for December 12, 2020: a one-day virtual meeting focused on medical and surgical cornea with live interaction with presenters and lively discussions among panelists. I look forward to your participation.”
During the event, PentaVision, publisher of Corneal Physician, will be providing attendee giveaways, including American Express gift cards and iPads, and the on-demand platform will be hosted for 12 months.
“The Cornea Virtual Summit is designed to provide corneal physicians access to the latest trends and controversies that help shape the future of our practice. It’s an opportunity to access some of the leading experts in the field as they share their knowledge and opinions on upcoming technology and procedures,” explains Dr. Donaldson. “We are very fortunate to have gathered 40 well-respected corneal physicians to share their insights into some of the most common and the most challenging conditions we face on a daily basis. Please join us, as we introduce the first interactive virtual corneal summit. We look forward to your feedback and hope that you can learn from, enjoy, and grow your practice without the travel expense and inconvenience of traditional meetings.”
For additional information, visit www.cornealphysician.com .
Saturday, December 12, 2020
8:30 am ET - 2:45 pm ET
Join your colleagues for this exciting event.
COVID-19 Systemic Symptoms/Cough Linked With Ocular Symptoms
Children in Wuhan, China hospitalized due to COVID-19 presented with ocular manifestations of the virus, such as conjunctival congestion, conjunctival discharge, and eye rubbing, and their systemic symptoms and cough were linked with the ocular symptoms, reports JAMA Ophthalmology.1
Specifically, 49 (23%) of 216 patients (62% boys) with a median age of 7 presented with an array of ocular manifestations of the virus, with 9 patients’ ocular manifestations being the first sign of COVID-19. In terms of the break-down of ocular manifestations, 27 (55.1%) had conjunctival discharge; 19 (38.8%) had eye rubbing, and 5 (1.2%) had conjunctival congestion. The most prevalent symptoms among symptomatic patients were fever (37.5%) and cough (36.6%). Those with systemic symptoms or with cough were more likely to develop the virus’ ocular manifestations.
- JAMA Ophthalmol. 2020 Aug 26;e203690. doi: 10.1001/jamaophthalmol.2020.3690.
Stem Cells Used to Replace Ocular Surface in Burn Victims
Four patients who sustained chemical burns to one eye have had that eye’s ocular surface replaced by stem cells acquired from the fellow healthy eye, via cultivated autologous limbal epithelial cell (CALEC) transplantation, performed by surgeons at Massachusetts Eye and Ear. The patients are part of an ongoing National Eye Institute clinical trial, and they are no longer experiencing pain from their chemical burns.
“These early cases show great promise for a safe treatment option for people who have lost vision from chemical burns and corneal infections,” explains Joan W. Miller, MD, chief of Ophthalmology at Massachusetts Eye and Ear, in a press release.
Given the feasibility and safety of CALEC, researchers are recruiting more patients to see whether it can create better vision by itself or via allowing for cornea transplantation.
Advanced OCTs Show Promise in Corneal Diseases
A curved-field OCT and a holographic OCT may enhance the management of corneal disease.
To start, the curved-field OCT can capture images of the human cornea in vivo at a viewing area of 10 times larger than the currently available cornea devices. This allows for surgeons to more definitively count endothelial cells and nerves, making the curved-field OCT ideal for pre-cataract surgery patients, reports a recent study in Optica.
“Doctors frequently perform endothelial cell counting before cataract surgery to ensure there will be enough endothelial cells to preserve the cornea after the surgery,” explains Kristina Irsch, one of the study’s researchers to Science Daily. “Because our instrument provides a much larger viewing area than the existing clinical devices, we can count more cells, making for a more accurate evaluation of the corneal health and potentially improving surgical predictions and outcomes.”
The device is compact, non-contact, and works in one fast shot (3.5 ms), so it’s ready for use in both clinical practice and ophthalmic research, reports the study.
The holographic OCT acquires corneal images in a fraction of a second and records the cornea’s depth in an extremely high resolution, revealing single cells, says the Polish Academy of Sciences. Also, if the patient blinks, the device compensates for it.
“Our idea was to spoil the coherent laser beam illuminating the cornea, so we could significantly extend the exposure time without endangering the delicate retina,” explained professor Maciej Wojtkowski, one of the scientists. “At the same time, it allows us to maintain a high value of light power, which allows us to see even a very weak light back scattered from the cornea.”
Researchers Investigating Artificial Intelligence To Help Diagnose Keratoconus Early
Centre for Eye Research Australia (CERA) researchers are looking into how to use artificial intelligence (AI) to aid in detecting keratoconus at its earliest possible stage, so doctors can intervene with treatments, such as corneal cross-linking, earlier and, thus, reduce corneal transplantations.
Specifically, the researchers are combining AI with a large collection of topographic corneal images to create an objective screening tool that does not require proficiency in deciphering such images.
“The AI algorithms developed in this project can be incorporated into any corneal imaging system,” says Srujana Sahebjada, one of the researchers, in a CERA press release. “This could vastly improve the diagnosis of keratoconus globally, particularly in rural clinics that would otherwise have no access to expensive advanced imaging systems.”
Diabetes Mellitus Increases Recurrent Corneal Erosion Risk
The risk of a recurrent corneal erosion (RCE) is associated with diabetes mellitus (DM), reports a retrospective, nationwide, matched cohort study in the British Medical Journal.1
Specifically, 1236 DM patients and 884 control patients developed RCE during the follow-up period, resulting in an incidence rate of RCE in patients with DM (5.87/10000 person-years larger than that seen in the controls (4.23/10000 person years). Additionally, DM patients were 1.35 times (95% CI, 1.24 to 1.48) more likely to develop RCE than the total sample cohort when adjusting for chronic renal disease, keratoconjunctivitis sicca, hypertension, and hyperlipidaemia.
The study was comprised of 239,854 DM patients recruited between 2003 and 2005 from the Longitudinal Cohort of Diabetes Patients database. The control group had the same number of age-matched and sex-matched patients chosen from the Taiwan Longitudinal Health Insurance Database, 2000. Data were collected from the index date until December 2013.
The researchers conclude that “close collaboration between endocrinologists and ophthalmologists is important in managing RCE following DM.”
- BMJ Open. 2020;10(6): e035933.
Longitudinal Central Endothelial Cell Density Changes in Child Uveitis Patients Linked With Surgery for Uveitis-Related Complications
A significant annual rate of endothelial cell density (ECD) in a pediatric population with uveitis was related to intraocular surgery for uveitis-related complications, reports the British Journal of Ophthalmology.1
The study was comprised of 99 children (mean age [±SD]: 10.0 ± 4.1 years) who had a history of anterior chamber inflammation and were followed up a mean of 12.3 ± 3.5 months. A total of 11 children who did not have juvenile idiopathic arthritis-associated uveitis were the controls. Although no major differences were noted in mean ECD between the controls and those who had not undergone prior ophthalmic surgery, those who did have ophthalmic surgery had significantly lower ECD than the controls at recruitment (p=0.002) and at follow-up (p=0.004). That said, longitudinal ECD assessments did not reveal significant ECD changes in either group (group 1, p=0.07; group 2, p=0.54). On regression analysis, once the patient’s age was adjusted for, however, only intraocular procedures during the study (r=0.43, adjusted p=0.03) were linked with a major annual rate of ECD loss.
- Br J Ophthalmol. 2020 Jun 10;bjophthalmol-2020-316120.
Augmented Reality Headsets Will Offer Medical Technologies
Ocutrx Vision Technologies, LLC, has announced plans to provide AR headsets for medical applications, with AT&T connectivity and Qualcomm Technologies Inc.’s 5G products. These headsets:
- Oculenz AMD. This will be for the use of advanced AMD patients and patients who have retinal disease-caused central visual deficits.
- Oculenz RMP. This will be for remote telemedicine and will contain patient sensors, including a visual field test.
- Oculenz LVP. This will be for low-vision patients, so they can maneuver through their environment.
- Oculenz EyAlinz. This will be to aid in the diagnosis and treatment of young patients who have amblyopia, and it will provide a binocular recovery solution, the company says.
- ORLenz. This will provide a surgery video feed with virtual information superimposed in the view of a surgeon, assistant or students/fellows to improve patient outcomes. Visit www.oculenz.com .
Surgeons Design Ergonomic Surgical Chair for Surgeons
Equipment that ignores proper ergonomic positioning is a major contributor to rising chronic musculoskeletal disorders among ophthalmologists. With this is mind, Haag-Streit USA teamed up with product design firm Zukunplan to design the CO:RE Surgical Chair, an ergonomic surgical chair for physicians in the surgical suite. The company says it collaborated with ophthalmologists to understand the ergonomic issues surgeons face.
Haag-Streit USA maintains that “shifting the focus to encompass a surgeon’s joints and spine will not only improve doctor health in the operating room, but also overall quality of life...” The chair includes a curved backrest, which aligns the spine for added lumbar support with multi-directional adjustment.
To accommodate the wide range in surgeons’ lumbar lordosis, a choice of chair curvatures is available. The armless design and narrow seatback enables freedom of movement without the risk of contamination, Haag-Streit USA says. Visit https://products.haag-streit-usa.com .
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CORRECTION: JULY ISSUE: In the July issue’s “Genetic Testing for Corneal Disease” article, written by Elizabeth Yeu, MD, Avellino Labs was incorrectly listed as “Avellino Precision Medicine” and without the company’s website, which is www.avellino.com . Corneal Physician apologizes for these oversights.
- AcuFocus, Inc. has expanded the IC-8 small aperture IOL power range to +10.0 D to +30.0 D (0.50 D steps).
- The American Academy of Ophthalmology’s 2020 Virtual Meeting, occurring Nov. 13 to Nov. 15, will provide Cornea Subspecialty Day 2020: Seeing Clearly Into the Future, Friday, Nov. 13, 12:30 p.m. to 4:20 p.m. For additional information, visit www.aao.org/annual-meeting/2020-the-vision .
- Bausch Health has announced it has entered into an agreement to acquire an option to purchase all the ophthalmology assets of Allegro, including global rights for risuteganib (Luminate), Allegro’s lead investigational compound in retina. Luminate is believed to simultaneously act on the angiogenic, inflammatory and mitochondrial metabolic pathways implicated in diseases, such as intermediate dry AMD, the company says. Other Allegro ophthalmology assets include ALG-1007, a topical integrin regulator under investigation for dry eye disease. It is currently in Phase 2 development outside the United States. Visit www.bauschhealth.com . In other news, Bausch + Lomb and Eton Pharmaceuticals, Inc. have announced the FDA approval of OTC Alaway Preservative Free (ketotifen fumarate) ophthalmic solution, 0.035%, antihistamine eye drops (EM-100) to temporarily relieve
itchy eyes, as a result of pollen, ragweed, grass, animal hair and dander.
Visit www.bausch.com .
- BVI has announced the availability of IPure, a pre-loaded aspheric monofocal IOL available in both a 1-Piece and 3-Piece design. The IOL provides high-contrast and quality vision in several light conditions, while preserving the natural corneal depth of focus, the company says. In other news, BVI has announced its Malosa range of single-use ophthalmic instruments will now include specialty instruments for use in corneal refractive surgery. Additionally, BVI has released a line of Patient Packs to aid U.S. ophthalmologists in bringing patients back to their practices and the OR. The Packs are comprised of a face mask, bouffant cap, shoe covers, an optional isolation gown, and patient instructions. visit www.bvimedical.com/brands/ipure/ .
- Recordati Rare Diseases Inc. has announced that the FDA has approved cysteamine ophthalmic solution 0.37%. (Cystadrops), a viscous eye drop solution that depletes corneal cystine crystal deposits in people who have cystinosis. For additional information, visit www.recordatirarediseases/files/inline-files/Cystadrops_US_PI_Final.pdffull .
- Emmetrope Ophthalmics LLC (Emmecell), a clinical-stage biotechnology company that develops cell-based therapies for the treatment of eye diseases, has announced that the FDA has accepted its Investigational New Drug (IND) application for EO2002, its lead candidate for the treatment of corneal edema. The active IND enables Emmecell to initiate a Phase 1 clinical trial designed to assess the tolerability, safety, and efficacy of EO2002—a nonsurgical, magnetic cell-based therapy—in corneal edema patients. For more information, visit www.emmecell.com .
- Konan Medical has announced the launch of CellChek 20, an FDA 510 (k) specular microscope that acquires images of both eyes and provides an automated analysis via the Center Method. Additionally, the device features a large imaged area, image clarity, guttata recognition and redaction from cellular calculations, the company says. A demonstration video of CellChek 20 can be seen at https://vimeo.com/461578916 .
- NuSight Medical, maker of the NuLids at-home treatment for dry eye disease, has announced the formation of its Medical Advisory Board, co-chaired by Cynthia Matossian, MD, and Laura Periman, MD. The board is also comprised of Crystal Brimer, OD,
Ahmad Fahmy, OD, Scott Hauswirth, OD, and Francis S. Mah, MD.
Visit www.nusightmedical.com .
- Quantel Medical, a subsidiary of Lumibird, has purchased Ellex, including the company’s laser and ultrasound products (except for the 2RT and iTrack), the brand name, R&D, and production sites, according to a company-issued press release. Both companies share a focus on blinding conditions, such as AMD, cataracts, diabetic retinopathy, and glaucoma. Visit https://www.quantel-medical.com .
- Santen Holdings U.S. Inc. has announced it has acquired all outstanding shares of Eyevance Pharmaceuticals Holdings Inc. The transaction has been closed simultaneously with the execution of the agreement, with the purchase price as $225 million (USD) and paid all in cash, thereby making Eyevance a wholly owned subsidiary of Santen. Visovanqtm (sterile vancomycin ophthalmic ointment) and Nexagon (ophthalmic gel for persistent corneal epithelial defects), both of which were being developed by Eyevance, were taken out of the transaction with Santen and, thus, excluded from this purchase. Visit www.santen.com .
- Topcon Healthcare has launched the Aladdin-M, which enables the objective measurement of corneal curvature, pupil dynamics and axial length metrics by combining corneal topography, pupillometry, and optical biometry, the company says. visit www.topconhealth.com .
- Zeiss has announced that its IOLMaster 700 has updates, such as central topography for more insights on corneal shape, access to surgical planning data on mobile devices via EQ Mobile from Zeiss, and the Barrett True K with Total Keratometry (TK) formula. Visit www.zeiss.com . CP