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  • Comprehensive Ophthalmology, Glaucoma

    A weekly roundup of ophthalmic news from around the web.

    Reading on a smartphone appears to have a greater effect on IOP than traditional print reading. Investigators in India compared IOP measurements from 60 healthy adults and 22 age-matched patients with medically controlled primary open-angle glaucoma (POAG) to assess the effect of digital text vs conventional (printed) text reading on intraocular pressure (IOP) levels. Though both reading methods were associated with IOP rises from baseline, significantly higher IOP rises were seen with smartphone text reading vs printed text reading after 20 minutes (+0.78 vs +2.00 mm Hg, respectively, in the healthy volunteers; +2.21 vs +3.42 mm Hg, respectively, in the patients with glaucoma). After a 20-minute cessation period, IOP returned to baseline levels in the healthy volunteers but remained higher in the patients with POAG. The authors suggest conducting larger studies that include older patients. Journal of Glaucoma

    Glaucoma-related blindness and visual impairment continue to have global impact. Using population-based data from the continually updated Global Vision Database, the Vision Loss Expert Group (VLEG) of the Global Burden of Disease study has estimated that worldwide in 2020, 3.6 million people were blind due to glaucoma (8.4% of all global blindness cases) and an additional 4.1 million people had glaucoma-related moderate or severe vision impairment (MSVI). Higher-income countries and those in North Africa and the Middle East had the highest proportion of people with glaucoma-related blindness. In adults aged ≥50 years worldwide, there was an estimated 23.3% decrease in glaucoma-related blindness (age-standardized prevalence rate) between 2000 and 2020, but an estimated 6% increase in MSVI rates. As noted in the article, the World Health Organization’s Package of Eye Care Interventions may provide useful information for governmental health care agencies looking to improve glaucoma detection, diagnosis, and treatment in their countries. Eye (London); World Health Organization

    Vision impairment may reduce the ability of older adults to use and engage with technology, say researchers who looked at data from 2822 Medicare beneficiaries enrolled in the National Health and Aging Trends Study. On multivariate analysis, people in this cohort with exam-measured vision impairment (VI; defined as >0.30 logMAR) were less likely to report having and knowing how to use a computer, tablet, or cell phone than people without VI. The use of email, testing and the internet was also lower in the VI group. The authors note that this digital knowledge and usage gap will be a barrier to the growing use of telehealth programs in older populations, concluding that “it is necessary to identify those who may lack digital technology access and develop equitable strategies to improve accessibility of telemedicine, including for those with VI.” JAMA Ophthalmology