Looking back at 2016
The Zika virus captured many national headlines in 2016. The virus has been on the move in Central and South America with new cases confirmed almost daily in Canada, Europe, and United States. Conjunctivitis is a common symptom with the disease, and we discussed this in the March issue.
ODs must become more general health providers; we can no longer simply look at the eye and visual system.
With over 400 million people suffering from diabetes in 2010,1 and our profession often serving as a portal into the healthcare community, we ODs have a unique opportunity to educate and care for our patients suffering from diabetes, hypertension, and other systemic diseases.
Toward that end, Dr. Sherrol A. Reynolds believes optometrists need to take a greater role in helping patients identify and control hypertension and other systemic diseases that are not always associated with the eye.
Demodex continued to make the news in 2016. Demodex is a very common condition that ranges from asymptomatic to sight-threatening disease. Ocular demodex has been associated with facial and ocular rosacea as well as meibomian gland dysfunction. Quick recognition and diagnosis and conservative therapy will lower demodex density and improve symptomatology, according to Ben Gaddie, OD, FAAO.
Dr. Gaddie also educated us on our profession’s expansion toward a broader range of diagnostic and treatment options for our glaucoma patients. More optometrists are writing prescriptions for their glaucoma patients, Dr. Gaddie says, which is a welcome sign.
Dr. Ben Casella feels that FDA approval for an injectable sustained-release prostaglandin analog implant (Bimatoprost SR) could be obtained in a few years which could redefine first-line therapy in glaucoma.
The effects of concussions have been in the news for a while, and concussion patients are increasingly presenting for care in optometrists’ offices across the country. ODs helping to care for these patients is a good thing, according to optometrists Keith Smithson and Jason Clopton because ODs are the best choice for concussion detection and treatment. They shared the top 10 myths of concussion treatment.