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American Academy of Ophthalmology, Oct. 18-21

The 118th Annual Meeting of the American Academy of Ophthalmology

The annual meeting of the American Academy of Ophthalmology was held from Oct. 18 to 21 in Chicago and attracted approximately 6,000 participants from around the world, including ophthalmologists, optometrists, opticians, and other eye health care professionals. The conference featured presentations focusing on the latest advances in comprehensive eye care, including medical, surgical, and optical care.

In one study, Chris A. Johnson, Ph.D., of the Visual Field Reading Center at the University of Iowa in Iowa City, and colleagues evaluated the effectiveness of an iPad app for detection of glaucoma using peripheral vision screening in 200 patients. Specifically, the investigators evaluated the app in Nepal, where there is limited access to health care.

"We evaluated 100 healthy control patients and 100 with glaucoma. We compared the results using the iPad app to the standard visual field test, known as the Humphrey SITA Standard 24-2, and found that the two tests agreed between 51 and 79 percent of the time," Johnson said.

The investigators also found that the app worked the best for patients with moderate and advanced visual field loss as compared to mild visual field loss.

"Overall, the test is simple to take, takes approximately three minutes per eye, and could be used in patients with limited access to health care or prior to a doctor's visit while a patient is waiting to see the doctor," Johnson added. "We believe our findings indicate that advances in technology are changing the way diagnostic vision testing will be accomplished now and in the future."

Two authors disclosed financial ties to pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies.

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In another study, Jiaxi Ding, M.D., of the State University of New York at Buffalo, and colleagues used the iExaminer smartphone system to image 28 clinic and hospitalized pediatric patients with a variety of retinal and optic nerve conditions.

"This portable setup is able to take photos and videos of key structures in the back of the eye in a single view even without dilating drops, which may increase its appeal for physicians outside the eye-care specialty like emergency department and primary care doctors," Ding said.

There is also potential for instant telemedicine consultation among physicians, without violating patient identity, since no external facial features are revealed in these images, according to Ding. The associated iExaminer app helps to capture, store, and transfer data collected.

"As for the challenges/limitations we encountered: (1) there can be a learning curve to optimally maneuver the system; (2) imaging the peripheral retina was a challenge in children, but this may be better accomplished with well-dilated, fully cooperative adults; and (3) the current U.S. Food and Drug Administration-approved iExaminer adapter is designed to fit only iPhone 4 and 4S models with 5 to 8 megapixel resolution, so we were not using the latest smartphone models with enhanced camera capability," Ding said.

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Thomas Walters, M.D., of Texan Eye in Austin, and colleagues evaluated the first tear duct implant -- a punctum plug -- to treat inflammation and pain after cataract surgery.

"The key advantage to the implant is that, as physicians, we will not need to rely on a patient's compliance with eye drops. The implant actually delivers the drug in the correct dose for a predictable period to the patient's ocular surface," Walters said.

Overall, the investigators found that the punctum plug was a safe, reliable, and effective approach for delivery of medication to treat inflammation and pain after cataract surgery.

"This first-in-class device solves important issues of compliance, safety, efficacy, and comport, while helping to provide the improved outcomes that my patients have come to expect," Walters added.

The study was supported by Ocular Therapeutix, which developed the dexamethasone punctum plug. One author disclosed financial ties to Alcon Laboratories, Bausch + Lomb, Ocular Therapeutix, and Omeros.

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AAO: Researchers Characterize Uveitis With Multiple Sclerosis

TUESDAY, Oct. 21, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Most patients with multiple sclerosis (MS) and uveitis present with intermediate uveitis, according to research presented at the annual meeting of the American Academy of Ophthalmology, held from Oct. 18 to 21 in Chicago.

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AAO: Reading Glasses May Soon Be a Thing of the Past

MONDAY, Oct. 20, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- A new implantable eye device might make reading glasses a thing of the past, according to research presented at the annual meeting of the American Academy of Ophthalmology, held from Oct. 18 to 21 in Chicago.

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