The following article is a part of Ophthalmology Advisor’s conference coverage of the Southeastern Educational Congress of Optometry (SECO) 2021, held in Atlanta and virtually from April 28 to May 2, 2021. The team at Ophthalmology Advisor will be reporting on the presentations offered by these leading experts in optometry and ophthalmology. Check back for more from the SECO 2021 Meeting.

 

If the last year has shown us anything, it’s that today’s medical science can develop at a dizzying pace. While glaucoma may not be a viral pandemic, it currently threatens the vision of some 76 million people around the world — a number expected to top 110 million by 2040.1 In response, researchers and innovators are offering multiple treatments, technologies, and strategies to keep patients’ vision strong and slow the disease’s progression to a crawl. Justin Schweitzer, OD, reviewed some of the more recent and upcoming advances in glaucoma treatment at the 2021 Southeastern Educational Congress of Optometry (SECO) meeting, held April 28 to May 2 in Atlanta. 


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The presentation, “Innovations in Glaucoma: Next Generation Technology, Medications, and Delivery,” will review case studies and explain how treatment decisions are made in comanaging eye care facilities, like Vance Thompson Vision, where Dr Schweitzer practices. According to the presentation, short-term intraocular pressure (IOP) fluctuations may be an independent risk factor for the disease, suggesting that clinicians could benefit from a more comprehensive picture of a patient’s pressure throughout the day. The course will look at the academic literature’s findings regarding a number of in-office and at-home IOP-monitoring devices designed to provide just that. These innovations include the The Correcting Applanation Tonometer Surface (CATS) prism, which was designed for use with Goldmann type in-office tonometers, and several continuous IOP monitoring “wearables,” such as the Triggerfish (Sensimed) and Eyemate (Implandata).

While IOP is the only known modifiable glaucoma risk, another measurement, corneal hysteresis, may provide clinicians with information that they can use to track the progression of the disease. The measurement, which can be obtained with an in-office device, reflects the ability of the corneal tissue to dissipate energy. Using this, clinicians can understand which patients are susceptible to glaucoma in the first place and which glaucomatous eyes are most susceptible to visual field loss and progression. Dr Schweitzer’s guidance shows how to incorporate this into the exam lane and how to form a more complete picture of a patient’s glaucoma with advanced imaging options, such as optical coherence tomography angiography.

He’ll also cover advances in glaucoma treatments, such as drug-eluting implants and other devices that are helping keep patients compliant and vision intact while doing the least possible damage to the ocular surface. 

Visit Ophthalmology Advisor’s conference section for complete coverage of the SECO 2021 Meeting and more.

 

References

1. Allison K, Patel D, Alabi O. Epidemiology of glaucoma: the past, present, and predictions for the future. Cureus. 2020;12(11):e11686. doi:10.7759/cureus.11686

2. Schweitzer J. Innovations in glaucoma: next generation technology, medications, and delivery. Presented at: Southeastern Educational Congress of Optometry (SECO) 2021 Annual Meeting; April 28-May 2, 2021; Atlanta, GA. Course 134.