Looking back at 2016
Optometrists continue to learn more about how to better manage their surgical patients.
Jeffrey Whitman, MD, educated us on minimally invasive surgical options for presbyopia, including Kamra corneal inlay (AcuFocus) and Raindrop Near Vision Inlay (ReVision Optics), as well as discussing two devices under investigation.
Kristin Symon, OD, taught that femtosecond laser-assisted cataract surgery can provide better postoperative results, fewer complications, and higher patient satisfaction. The one huge drawback to that procedure for many of our patients is the out-of-pocket costs for the procedure.
Drs. Clark Chang and Jim Owen also discussed new categories of premium extended depth-of-focus intraocular lenses. I hope they perfect these devices soon—I realize I am not too far away from needing cataract surgery!
Dry eye continues to be an area of interest for optometrists and patients alike.
The biggest pharmacological news in optometry and likely the entire eyecare industry for 2016 was the approval of Xiidra (lifitegrast, Shire).
This approval gives optometrists two choices instead of only one for prescription dry eye therapy. Many eyecare practitioners were waiting for other therapeutic options to better treat their patients.
Dry eye testing
As more research is conducted, we are discovering even more potential dry eye problems. One study found abnormal osmolarity in 59 percent of 273 contact lens wearers.3 Contact lens wearers with abnormal osmolarity had a greater number of symptoms compared to those with normal tear osmolarity. We know that dry eye is a cause of contact lens dropout; with the numbers presented in this study, the problem may be even larger than we think.
Another important sign of dry eye is inflammation, which can be identified by evaluating MMP-9 with the InflammaDry test from RPS. Combining both tests can aid in your treatment plans. While these CLIA-waived tests are not significantly going to build your revenue, they do enhance your overall patient care.