American Academy of Ophthalmology, Nov. 14-17

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The 119th Annual Meeting of the American Academy of Ophthalmology

The annual meeting of the American Academy of Ophthalmology (AAO) was held from Nov. 14 to 17 in Las Vegas 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, Koray Gumus, M.D., of the Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, and colleagues used topical Cacicol eye drops, a regenerating agent, to aid in the process of corneal wound healing. The investigators aimed to investigate the hypothesis that a new matrix therapy agent (ReGeneraTing Agent [RGTA]) would speed up corneal healing and reduce ocular symptoms after epi-off corneal cross-linking. Both the duration of corneal healing and ocular symptom scores (for pain, photophobia, burning, stinging, tearing) were evaluated.

"While 25 eyes (83.3 percent) with RGTA revealed complete healing on day two, only four eyes (13.3 percent) revealed complete healing in the control group. Ocular pain scores were lower in the RGTA group on day zero, one, and two. Additionally, in the RGTA group, burning scores were lower on days one and two, stinging scores on days two and three, tearing scores on days two and three, and photophobia scores on days one and two, compared to the control group," Gumus said. "Finally, RGTA ophthalmic solution facilitates corneal healing by reconstructing the extracellular matrix in the wound area, leading to an earlier relief of symptoms for patients. These findings are definitely encouraging for the clinicians who perform these corneal procedures."

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In another study, Donald Tan, F.R.C.S., of the Singapore National Eye Center, and colleagues found that 0.01-percent atropine eye drops once a day can reduce myopia progression in children by up to 50 percent, without any significant side effects.

"One-percent atropine eye drops in children are effective in slowing down the progression of myopia by preventing the eyeball from growing too long, but this therapy has the side effects of dilating the pupil, causing glare, and also reducing near focusing ability, which could cause difficulty with near vision," Tan said. "Our clinical trial tested three lower doses of atropine (0.5, 0.1, and 0.01 percent) in an attempt to reduce these side effects. Our five-year study showed that the lowest dose (0.01 percent) was still very effective in reducing myopia progression by about 50 percent, and yet produced minimal pupil dilation and glare and did not affect near vision."

The investigators also found that the higher concentrations of atropine caused a rebound effect when the drops were stopped.

"In contrast, there was no rebound effect with the 0.01-percent concentration, which meant that in these children the myopia progression did not accelerate again after stopping treatment," Tan explained. "The immediate clinical impact of our trial conducted in Singapore has been the establishment of Myopia Treatment Clinics at the Singapore National Eye Centre and the Children's Hospital, where over 1,000 myopic children are now receiving 0.01-percent atropine eye drops to reduce their myopia progression. Early clinical audit results on the first 300 children also confirm that myopia progression is being significantly reduced in these children."

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During the conference, the AAO announced the launch of a suite of videos to aid patients in understanding the diagnosis and management of common eye conditions.

"Years of studies establish the efficacy of videos in patient education. Multiple studies found video to be especially effective in decreasing patient anxiety and pain, while increasing short-term knowledge and coping ability," said Devin Harrison, M.D., chair of the AAO patient education committee. "Showing a patient education video is a time-saver. A five-minute video that consistently reinforces your explanation of how diabetes affects the eyes, for instance, can save you a lot of talk time and allow you to focus your one-on-one discussion on specific questions about how treatment will work. If you simply cannot incorporate video-watching into the schedule, your patients can watch a video before or after their visit via your website or patient portal."

According to Harrison, the AAO is offering a complete suite of patient education video collections for all ophthalmic subspecialties, including cataract/refractive, retina, glaucoma, pediatrics, and oculoplastics. Each collection comes with multiple videos on specific treatment options and addresses benefits, risks, and alternatives.

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AAO: Electronic Glasses May Be New Option in Amblyopia Tx

TUESDAY, Nov. 17, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- New, high-tech glasses may offer amblyopia patients an alternative to the traditional eye patch, new research suggests. The findings were to be presented at the annual meeting of the American Academy of Ophthalmology, held from Nov. 14 to 17 in Las Vegas.

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AAO: Ranibizmab Noninferior to Panretinal Photocoagulation

MONDAY, Nov. 17, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Treatment with ranibizumab is noninferior to panretinal photocoagulation (PRP) for eyes with proliferative diabetic retinopathy, according to a study published online Nov. 13 in the Journal of the American Medical Association. The research was published to coincide with the annual meeting of the American Academy of Ophthalmology, held from Nov. 14 to 17 in Las Vegas.

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