New!

Does Treating Premature Infants With Steroids Increase Their Risk of Vision Problems?

In a study recently published in the Journal of the American Association for Pediatric Ophthalmology and Strabismus, researchers found that retinopathy of prematurity (ROP) (i.e., abnormal development of the retina that can lead to blindness) was more common in premature infants treated with steroids. Steroids are often administered to premature infants with low birth weights to foster lung development.

Researchers urged clinicians “to use their best judgment to balance the positive effects from steroids on developing lungs …

Can Eating Oily Fish Twice Weekly Reduce the Risk of Diabetic Retinopathy?

Spanish researchers recently published the results of a clinical trial in JAMA Ophthalmology indicating that in middle-aged and older individuals with type 2 diabetes, intake of at least 500 mg/day of long-chain omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids – the equivalent of 2 weekly servings of oily fish – may decrease the risk of diabetic retinopathy.

Click here to read the abstract.

Can Corneal Cross-Linking Be Used To Treat Myopia?

Earlier this year, Avedro, Inc. received approvals from the FDA to use Photrexa Viscous and Photrexa riboflavin solutions with its KXL System for corneal collagen cross-linking for the treatment of progressive keratoconus, and corneal ectasia following refractive surgery.

On August 16, 2016, Avedro announced a new clinical trial together with Toulouse University Hospital in France to evaluate the safety and efficacy of corneal cross linking for the treatment of myopia.

Click here to read more.

Can Retinal Imaging Enable Earlier Detection of Parkinson’s Disease and Alzheimer’s Disease?

Researchers in London recently published a study describing how they used retinal imaging techniques to detect Parkinson’s Disease in rodents. The technique may yield an eye test that can be used to detect Parkinson’s Disease in humans earlier than current diagnostic tests, thus enabling earlier intervention.

Click here to access the published results of the study.

The news follows an announcement in July of the start of clinical trials to use a retinal imaging technology for

AcrySof IQ Toric IOLs for Patient in 80’s With Astigmatism?

A patient asks:

“At what numbers is astigmatism severe enough to go with AcrySof IQ Toric lenses? Does age make a difference – I am in my 80’s. My numbers last year were cylinder -1.50 and -.75 Axis 90. This year they are cylinder -2.25 and -1.50 Axis 90. Is it more likely to have problems with Toric than simple lenses?

Also...

Glaucoma

Boston Medical Center to Evaluate Glaucoma Drop Aids

Eye drops are the first choice for patients being treated for glaucoma. However, many patients find it challenging to administer eye drops due to such issues as the blinking reflexes of the eye and handling the eye drop bottle. There are many drop aids on the market to address these challenges.

The Boston Medical Center recently announced a study to evaluate the effectiveness of various glaucoma drop aids in terms of increasing compliance and decreasing waste …

Can Ultrasound be Used to Treat Glaucoma?

EyeSonix is sponsoring a new study to evaluate whether its Therapeutic Ultrasound for Glaucoma (TUG) device is safe and effective in treating patients with primary open angle glaucoma or ocular hypertension.

The study is presently recruiting participants. Click here for details.

Click here to access the results of an earlier clinical study on using a low-frequency low-power ultrasound device to lower intraocular pressure published by Dr. Donald Schwartz, the founder of EyeSonix, in the Journal of

Can Glaucoma be Treated With Cosopt Loaded Contact Lenses?

The University of Florida has announced a study to determine whether drug eluting contact lenses can be used to treat glaucoma.

The contact lens will be loaded with Cosopt (i.e., timolol maleate and dorzolamide hydrochloride), as well as vitamin E ((+) ?-tocopherol) as an additive for achieving extended release of the drugs.

Effectiveness will be measured as a drop in IOP after using the lenses.

Click here to learn more about the study and criteria for …

FDA Approves CyPass Micro-Stent to Treat Glaucoma

On July 29, 2016, the FDA announced approval of the CyPass® Micro-Stent, a micro invasive glaucoma surgical (MIGS) device manufactured by Alcon (a division of Novartis) to treat patients with mild to moderate primary open-angle glaucoma in conjunction with cataract surgery.

As the FDA explained, the CyPass® Micro-Stent is a tiny tube that is implanted into the eye during cataract surgery to help drain fluid that builds up in patients with glaucoma. The CyPass® Micro-Stent is designed to …

Allergan Webinar: Open-Angle Glaucoma: Managing IOP in Clinical Practice

Allergan, together with the Consortium of Research and Education, is sponsoring live one (1) hour webinars entitled “Open-Angle Glaucoma: Managing IOP in Clinical Practice.”

The webinars will be presented by prominent glaucoma specialists on the following dates and times:

  • February 7, 2013 – 12:30 PM ET (Thomas Mundorf, MD, Mundorf Eye Center, Charlotte, NC).
  • February 11, 2013 – 12:30 PM ET (Robert Rothman, MD, Glaucoma Consultants of Long Island, Lake Success, NY).
  • February 13, 2013 – 3:30 PM ET

Also...

Cataract

New Device Simulates Lens Replacement Experience Prior to Cataract Surgery

In the August 2016 issue of Optica, a journal published by the Optical Society, researchers described a new hand-held device called the simultaneous vision simulator, or SimVis, that allows patients to experience how different intraocular lenses used to treat cataracts would affect their vision by simply looking through the device.

As one of the article’s authors, Carlos Dorronsoro, explained, “The decision on which intraocular lens is implanted during cataract surgery is typically based on the explanations and …

Use of Vancomycin During Cataract Surgery Poses Risk of Blindness from Hemorrhagic Occlusive Retinal Vasculitis

Reports at such annual meetings as the 34th Annual Scientific Meeting of the American Society of Retina Specialists in San Francisco, California (August 9-14, 2016), and the International Conference and Expo on Cataract and Optometrists Meeting in Manchester, United Kingdom (August 4-5, 2016), have highlighted a new rare but dangerous complication of cataract surgery – hemorrhagic occlusive retinal vasculitis (HORV), which can lead to severe vision loss, including blindness. Although the precise cause of HORV …

FDA Approves CyPass Micro-Stent to Treat Glaucoma

On July 29, 2016, the FDA announced approval of the CyPass® Micro-Stent, a micro invasive glaucoma surgical (MIGS) device manufactured by Alcon (a division of Novartis) to treat patients with mild to moderate primary open-angle glaucoma in conjunction with cataract surgery.

As the FDA explained, the CyPass® Micro-Stent is a tiny tube that is implanted into the eye during cataract surgery to help drain fluid that builds up in patients with glaucoma. The CyPass® Micro-Stent is designed to …

FDA Approves Tecnis Symfony IOL for Cataract Surgery Patients

On July 15, 2016, the FDA announced that it had approved the Tecnis Symfony intraocular lens (IOL) – the first IOL to provide cataract patients with an extended depth-of-focus, which helps improve their sharpness of vision at near, intermediate and far distances. In cataract surgery, the clouded natural lens is removed and replaced with an IOL.

As the FDA explained, traditional monofocal IOLs have been limited to improving distance vision. The Tecnis Symfony IOL improves visual acuity …

Trial to Study Effect of Gabapentin on Pain of Second Cataract Surgery

Hyperalgesia, or increased sensitivity to pain, occurring at the second operation in staged bilateral cataract surgery is well documented.

The details of a study by Seoul National University Hospital recently published to clinicaltrials.gov will evaluate the effectiveness of pretreatment with gabapentin after the first operation on reduction of pain at second operation. Gabapentin is a drug originally developed to treat epilepsy that is currently used to relieve pain.

Click here for details of the study.

Also...

Cornea

Can Corneal Cross-Linking Be Used To Treat Myopia?

Earlier this year, Avedro, Inc. received approvals from the FDA to use Photrexa Viscous and Photrexa riboflavin solutions with its KXL System for corneal collagen cross-linking for the treatment of progressive keratoconus, and corneal ectasia following refractive surgery.

On August 16, 2016, Avedro announced a new clinical trial together with Toulouse University Hospital in France to evaluate the safety and efficacy of corneal cross linking for the treatment of myopia.

Click here to read more.

Can Mucinex Treat Filamentary Keratitis?

Filamentary keratitis is a complication associated with various eye conditions in which strands (“filaments”) composed of degenerated epithelial cells and mucus develop on and adhere to the corneal surface causing pain and foreign body sensation.

The Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary is launching a pilot study to determine if oral Mucinex® is effective in reducing the amount of corneal filaments and improving symptoms in patients suffering from filamentary keratitis.

Click here to learn more about …

Does Eye Rubbing Cause Keratoconus?

Ideally, the cornea should be spherical, but in some patients the cornea gets deformed to a cone shape – a condition known as keratoconus. Keratoconus may cause blurring of vision which may require the use of a rigid contact lens or surgical intervention.

It’s been thought that eye rubbing – a behavior very common in patients with eczema and other chronic allergic conditions – when done constantly every few minutes over many years may lead to permanent …

Diagnosing Limbal Stem Cell Deficiency Associated With Contact Lens Wear

There are numerous eye conditions associated with contact lens wear (see helpful summary in this 2010 article).

An article in the March 2013 issue of the American Journal of Ophthalmology examined the characteristics of patients with severe limbal stem cell deficiency associated with contact lens wear and possible therapies.

The article concluded that in severe cases of LSCD, conservative measures may not reverse the disease, and limbal stem cell transplantation with systemic immunosuppression should be …

List of Clinical Trials Evaluating Use of Stem Cells to Treat Eye Diseases

Irv Aron has compiled a comprehensive list of clinical trials evaluating the use of stem cells in treating various eye diseases. The list, which includes links to relevant pages on the National Institutes of Health Clinical Trials website, should be a very helpful resource for eyecare patients who wish to determine whether they are eligible to participate in particular trials.

These clinical trials will hopefully help unlock the potential of stem cells to restore vision to …

Also...

Retina

Does Treating Premature Infants With Steroids Increase Their Risk of Vision Problems?

In a study recently published in the Journal of the American Association for Pediatric Ophthalmology and Strabismus, researchers found that retinopathy of prematurity (ROP) (i.e., abnormal development of the retina that can lead to blindness) was more common in premature infants treated with steroids. Steroids are often administered to premature infants with low birth weights to foster lung development.

Researchers urged clinicians “to use their best judgment to balance the positive effects from steroids on developing lungs …

Can Eating Oily Fish Twice Weekly Reduce the Risk of Diabetic Retinopathy?

Spanish researchers recently published the results of a clinical trial in JAMA Ophthalmology indicating that in middle-aged and older individuals with type 2 diabetes, intake of at least 500 mg/day of long-chain omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids – the equivalent of 2 weekly servings of oily fish – may decrease the risk of diabetic retinopathy.

Click here to read the abstract.

Can Retinal Imaging Enable Earlier Detection of Parkinson’s Disease and Alzheimer’s Disease?

Researchers in London recently published a study describing how they used retinal imaging techniques to detect Parkinson’s Disease in rodents. The technique may yield an eye test that can be used to detect Parkinson’s Disease in humans earlier than current diagnostic tests, thus enabling earlier intervention.

Click here to access the published results of the study.

The news follows an announcement in July of the start of clinical trials to use a retinal imaging technology for

Use of Vancomycin During Cataract Surgery Poses Risk of Blindness from Hemorrhagic Occlusive Retinal Vasculitis

Reports at such annual meetings as the 34th Annual Scientific Meeting of the American Society of Retina Specialists in San Francisco, California (August 9-14, 2016), and the International Conference and Expo on Cataract and Optometrists Meeting in Manchester, United Kingdom (August 4-5, 2016), have highlighted a new rare but dangerous complication of cataract surgery – hemorrhagic occlusive retinal vasculitis (HORV), which can lead to severe vision loss, including blindness. Although the precise cause of HORV …

New Ultracompact Handheld Probe Facilitates Retinal Imaging in Infants and Children

Retinal photoreceptor cell imaging technology has been changing physicians’ and researchers’ understanding of retinal structure and function, and the development of numerous retinal diseases.

Until now, the use of this technology has been limited to cooperative adult patients due to the size, weight and inconvenience of the equipment.

A team of physicians and researchers at Duke University, however, recently published a letter in Nature Photonics, describing the development of a light handheld probe that can perform both scanning laser ophthalmoscopy and optical …

Also...

Refractive

Can Corneal Cross-Linking Be Used To Treat Myopia?

Earlier this year, Avedro, Inc. received approvals from the FDA to use Photrexa Viscous and Photrexa riboflavin solutions with its KXL System for corneal collagen cross-linking for the treatment of progressive keratoconus, and corneal ectasia following refractive surgery.

On August 16, 2016, Avedro announced a new clinical trial together with Toulouse University Hospital in France to evaluate the safety and efficacy of corneal cross linking for the treatment of myopia.

Click here to read more.

Can ACTC’s Stem Cells be Used to Treat Severe Myopia?

Advanced Cell Technology, Inc. (OTCBB: ACTC) announced last week that one of its clinical trial partners, UCLA’s Jules Stein Eye Institute, has received FDA approval of its Investigational New Drug (IND) Application to initiate a Phase I/II study using ACTC’s retinal pigment epithelial (RPE) cells derived from human embryonic stem cells (hESCs) to treat severe myopia (commonly known as nearsightedness).

The primary focus of the study will be to evaluate the safety in patients with severe myopia …

Diagnosing Limbal Stem Cell Deficiency Associated With Contact Lens Wear

There are numerous eye conditions associated with contact lens wear (see helpful summary in this 2010 article).

An article in the March 2013 issue of the American Journal of Ophthalmology examined the characteristics of patients with severe limbal stem cell deficiency associated with contact lens wear and possible therapies.

The article concluded that in severe cases of LSCD, conservative measures may not reverse the disease, and limbal stem cell transplantation with systemic immunosuppression should be …

Google Glasses Ready for Rollout (Developers Only For Now)

Project Glass is Google’s initiative to develop futuristic, Internet-connected glasses that show digital information right in front of your eyes, projected over the physical world, including directions, messages, and more.

Although they are not for sale quite yet, the company recently announced that it is holding events in New York City and San Fransisco where it will give software and app developers an opportunity to use the spectacles, and suggest software ideas and tie-ins. Alas, consumers …

Blurry Vision With AcrySof IQ Toric IOL

I had the AcrySof® IQ Toric IOL lens implanted in both eyes 2 years ago. They were mono vision implants. OD is fine. I had a “piggyback implant” done to the OD one year following the implant to the OD. OS is blurry and I cannot read. Almost as if there is an opaqueness on the periphery. Had an angiogram of the eyes and there is a slight occulsion to a small …

Also...

Stem Cell Therapies

Regenerating the Retina

The following article is the published version of an article that first appeared on my blog in April 2014. It was accepted for publication by the UK-based journal, The Ophthalmologist.

(You may be asked to sign up to read the full version, but there is no charge, and once you are a subscriber, you will be able to access all of my articles published in that magazine.)

This article, published in the February 2015 issue of The

Stem Cells/Cell Therapy in Ophthalmology Tables Updated

Thanks to an effort underway (and to be published in December by Mark Hellin, editor of The Ophthalmologist (UK), I learned of several new clinical trials (and companies/institutions) involved in using stem cells in treating ophthalmic disorders. Thus, with the new additions, I decided to update my online tables of stem cell use in ophthalmology.

The latest versions of the three tables list all of the companies/institutions involved, the applications being researched, and the status of …

Patient Advisory for Stem Cell Therapy and Medical Tourism

CIRM – California Institute for Regenerative Medicine

August 19, 2013

(This article was just posted on the CIRM (California Stem Cell Agency’s website) and is an important notice to all thinking about traveling to a foreign nation to undergo stem cell treatment. It should be read in its entirety before throwing out your money!)

As stakeholders in cellular therapy, the undersigned professional organizations believe it is necessary to share the following important message with patients and families contemplating …

A New Virus Vector for Safer Delivery of Gene Therapies in Ophthalmology

Researchers at UCal Berkeley have found a gene therapy vector that can deliver genes deep into the retina via intravitreous delivery, instead of using a needle to deliver the virus sub-retinally.

This eliminates the need for a vitrectomy, anesthesia and a hospital stay to treat patients, allowing for a simple short office visit and injection into the vitreous, similar to the way anti-VEGF drugs for age-related macular degeneration are currently delivered.

To read more, please follow this …

Patient in ACTC Stem Cell Clinical Trial With Dry AMD Goes from Legally Blind (20/400) to Near Normal Vision (20/40)

As you may know, Advanced Cell Technology is currently running three stem cell clinical trials; two for treating Stargardt’s Disease, one in the U.S. and one in the UK; and one clinical trial in the U.S. for treating the dry form of AMD.

Due to a unique set of circumstances, it was disclosed that one of the …

Also...