• Comprehensive Ophthalmology, Cornea/External Disease, Retina/Vitreous

    A weekly roundup of ophthalmic news from around the web.

    Social media apps are important tools for younger and female ophthalmologists. A survey conducted among 149 ophthalmologists and trainees who were active ophthalmology social media users at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic found that 94% had a professional social media account (primarily Instagram, LinkedIn, and/or Facebook) and 64% were on social media for at least 1 hour per day. Fifty-six percent of respondents were aged 25–35 years. Women were more likely to report finding social media to be helpful with challenges related to work-life balance, workplace discrimination, and parenting, while respondents aged <45 years were more likely to use social media to work through practice challenges. The authors conclude that “for many ophthalmologists, especially women, trainees, and those early in their career stages, social media is an invaluable tool for education and community-building.” Clinical Ophthalmology

    Taking 3D retinal images at the slit lamp? It’s possible. Researchers at the Department of Biomedical Engineering at the University of Strathclyde in Scotland have developed a device to take 3D images of the retina that is small enough to be attached to the slit lamp for use during routine ophthalmic examinations. Dr. Mario Giardini, one of the research team members, said that with this device, “Patients can be imaged easily and inexpensively, without the need for a specialist to be present…. It is comfortable and fast, at less than a second.” No timetable has been given for its potential entry into the ophthalmic market. University of Strathclyde

    In lower-income countries, treating corneal abrasions and ulcers early saves money. Researchers in India used prospective and retrospective data collected for patients seen at local vision centers and secondary eye care to estimate the cost impacts and health outcomes of different treatment scenarios for corneal ulcers and abrasions. Societal costs were found to be significantly lower if patients were treated early (within 2 days of abrasion presentation or ulcer <16 mm2) rather than later, when the conditions became more complex to treat. Local patient-oriented campaigns encouraging people to seek prompt treatment when they develop corneal abrasions may help improve clinical outcomes (including reducing blindness) with lower healthcare costs. The Lancet Regional Health – Southeast Asia

    For diabetic macular edema, do you treat with aflibercept or bevacizumab first? To answer that question, DRCR Retina Network investigators conducted a randomized clinical trial comparing aflibercept monotherapy to bevacizumab, followed by aflibercept if the response to bevacizumab was inadequate. Three hundred twelve eyes (278 patients) were treated over 2 years, and the mean change in visual acuity from baseline, the primary outcome, was similar between the aflibercept monotherapy group and the bevacizumab-first group (15.0 vs 14.0 letters, respectively). Each group also had similar retinal thickness measurements. As bevacizumab is often preferred by insurance providers as initial therapy, costs and patient healthcare coverage may be the deciding factors regarding which agent to prescribe. The New England Journal of Medicine