2022 brought pipeline advances in glaucoma, retina, cornea, and beyond

Justin Schweitzer, OD, gives a brief overview of his EyeCon 2022 presentations, reflecting on pipeline advancements made in optometry in 2022.

Justin Schweitzer, OD, caught up with Optometry Times' to discuss key takeaways from his EyeCon presentations during the second annual meeting held in Marco Island, Flordida, reflecting on pipeline advancements made in optometry in 2022.

Editor's note: This transcript has been edited for clarity:

Hi, my name is Justin Schweitzer. I'm an optometrist at Vance Thompson Vision in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. And it's really an honor and a pleasure to be here at EyeCon 2022.

I've had the opportunity to do a few lectures with some colleagues that I really respect, have a ton of fun with, and we focused a lot on pipeline advances in 2022. We looked at glaucoma advances, cornea advances, retinal advances and also had the opportunity to talk a lot of glaucoma as well.

Some of the highlights of these particular lectures including talking about glaucoma drug delivery, which is a space that we're going to continue to see expand across the spectrum for our glaucoma patients. We talked about a device that's already available but bimatoprost SR [sustained-release], an injectable procedure called Durysta that, you know, is being utilized to help a variety of our patients with open angle glaucoma.

We talked about some of the future developments that are coming like a micro-dose latanoprost spray that's going to be utilized. We talked a little bit about some intracameral implants as well as some punctal plug or intracanalicular insert devices that may be coming to the market as well. So really an exciting space.

We talked about some changes that are coming in the corneal space; focused a little bit on some surgical changes, advancements and endothelial keratoplasties and advancements in managing neurotrophic keratitis.

We also talked about the ever-expanding space of minimally invasive glaucoma procedures, the optometrist's role in managing these patients, the excitement around this. It's really, when you think about it, still in its infancy. Minimally invasive glaucoma procedures have been around for about 10 years, and we're still learning. And when there's new devices coming to the market all the time, our role as optometrists is to make sure that we understand them, make recommendations around them, the surgeons will do a great surgery, and then manage these patients postoperatively. So I had an opportunity to talk about that extensively, as well.

And finally had an opportunity to do some discussion around what's happening in ocular surface disease, and meibomian gland dysfunction, and the exciting things that are coming down the pipeline in regards to that. We're going to have a medication, hopefully in 2023, and very likely that can help manage Demodex blepharitis. We're going to have a topical drop that may be useful and helpful in managing patients with meibomian gland dysfunction. So it's a really exciting time to be in the eye care world. And we're going to see a lot more exciting things coming in 2023.

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