Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Intravitreal Implants for Retinal Disease

Implantation of medications such as dexamethasone and fluocinolone acetonide into the eye are becoming more and more commonplace as treatment for retinal diseases. These implants are being used to treat inflammatory retinal issues such as macular edema after branch or central vein occlusions, uveitis, choroiditis, and chorioretinitis, and are being studied to treat other diseases of the retina, including diabetic macular edema.


The benefits of intravitreal implants over traditional methods of treatment are that they deliver a continuous concentration of drug over a prolonged period of time. Before the inception of intravitreal implants, patients would have to have injections into the eye, which could be as often as monthly. Intravitreal implants last longer, sometimes up to a year depending on the medication, so the discomfort and inconvenience to the patient is minimized. It also provides more constant relief to the patient, as it releases a continuous concentration of the medication.


Thursday, September 15, 2011

Keratoconus

Keratoconus is the degeneration of the structure of the cornea, causing the cornea to become conical in shape instead of round. The causes of keratoconus are unknown, although there is substantial evidence to suggest that it is genetic. The disease generally presents itself in adolescence and can be identified by blurred vision that cannot be corrected with glasses. Keratoconus can cause serious distortions in a persons vision, including sensitivity to light and streaking, and is generally characterized by nearsightedness, or myopia.
Corneal topography is helpful in the diagnosis of keratoconus. A map of the cornea is taken, which identifies irregularities in the shape of the cornea. As the disease progresses, vision gets worse and worse until it is no longer correctable with glasses. Gas permeable contact lenses are a common treatment for keratoconus as they help to reshape the cornea.

Keratoconus can cause total loss of vision if the disease progresses or is left untreated. “Advanced cases of keratoconus can require surgical intervention” says Ravi Shah, MD, of Eyecare Medical Group. Corneal transplantation is a common treatment for severe keratoconus along with newer treatments, such as intrastromal corneal ring segments and corneal collagen cross linking.


Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Nutritional Supplements as Treatment for Dry Eye

A study published in the July 2011 issue of “Current Opinion in Ophthalmology” shows some promising new information about the treatment of dry eye symptoms . Although more investigation is still necessary, the study concluded that systemic and topical omega-3 fatty acids and omega-6 fatty appear to be effective in treating symptoms of dry eye. Essential fatty acids have previously been used in the treatment of other eye diseases and are most notably associated with a reduced risk in age related macular degeneration.

The study summarized that “the use of essential fatty acids as a nutritional supplement is a novel treatment for patients with dry eye syndrome”.

Eyecare Medical Group currently recommends the use of supplements such as flaxseed oil and fish oil for dry eye patients that include essential fatty acids.


Thursday, September 1, 2011

International Prize for EMG Photographer

Darrin Landry, EMG’s photographer, won 2nd place in this years European Vision Research Institute’s 3rd Annual Picture Competition. Darrin had previously won 4th place last year. “The Best Photo in Vision Research” competition ran from May 10th-June 30th, 2011. The contest, which was comprised of an international review board with members from the private and public sector, received high quality contributions from all over the world.


The photo Darrin submitted was of a patient who has pigmentary dispersion syndrome. The photo displays some pigment cells in the iris that have come off and the result is a thinning of the peripheral iris. “Using a slit lamp digital system, I was able to shine the light directly into the pupil, and the reflection from the retina (which is the same reflection seen in “red-eye” pictures) shines through the thinning area, giving it a red ring appearance” says Darrin Landry, CRA, OCT-C.


Congratulations, Darrin! Keep up the excellent work!!!