Hottest stories of 2014: Retina


Check out the biggest retina stories of the year.

1. Experiencing retinal detachment as an OD

Michael Brown, OD, FAAO, shared the story of his own retinal detachment while thousands of miles away from home.

“There was a series of flashes, like warning flares, and then a black tide, an oil slick of a blind spot that started down and to the left and crept toward the center of my vision, arcs of lightning heralding its advance,” Dr. Brown writes. “I knew what was happening, but I didn’t want to believe it. My wife and I had snuck out to California from Alabama for some much needed R&R-and now this.”

Doctor, heal thyself, says Optometry Times Chief Optometric Editor Ernie Bowling, OD, FAAO, NAP. “This is an excellent first person account of a devastating presentation through the eyes of a person who has seen it countless times from the other side of the chair,” he said. “Dr. Brown voices his experiences in a way few other ODs could.”

Read about Dr. Brown’s retinal detachment here.

2. Non-stop texting causes a case of retinal detachment, says Chinese media

This summer, we reported a viral story of a young man in Qindao, China, who, according to the Chinese media, suffered a retinal detachment because he used smartphone non-stop. Could our obsession with digital devices be coming back to haunt us? We asked Optometry Times Editorial Advisory Board member Leo Semes, OD, FAAO, to find out.


Read Dr. Semes’ reaction here.



3. AMD supplements may accelerate the disease in some people

In this story, we reported on research from Carl Awh, MD that was presented at the American Society of Retina Specialists annual meeting. Dr. Awh and his team found that age-related macular degeneration (AMD) may accelerate in people with certain genotypes.

According to Optometry Times Editorial Advisory Board member Leo Semes, OD, FAAO, big data studies are often cited for their clinical guidance. “With the advent of genetic specification regarding outcomes of certain diseases, we will see more reliance on the personalized medicine approach that incorporates genetic testing,” he said. “We are just seeing the tip of the iceberg for characterizing treatment personalization for AMD.”

Find out more about Dr. Awh’s research here.

4. Determining the value in genetic testing for AMD.

Our November cover story from Sherry Bass, OD, FAAO, on genetic testing for AMD quickly became one of the biggest stories of the year. Dr. Bass gives an overview of AMD genetic testing today from commercial availability to its value in providing guidance on treatments.

The importance of genetic testing in eyecare, and specifically in AMD is still emerging, according to Optometry Times Editorial Advisory Board Member Jeffry Gerson, OD, FAAO. “What we do know is that genetics helps to tell the tale of each specific patient,” he said. “Genetic testing allows for us to look at each patient individually instead as a part of a group as is done in large clinical trials. Genetics does, and it will continue to allow us to individualize our care.”

Read the story here.



5. Addressing AREDS2 controversies

In this story, we reported on a presentation given by Diana Shechtman, OD, FAAO, and Jeffry Gerson, OD, FAAO, at the American Optometric Association’s Optometry’s Meeting in Philadelphia. Dr. Shechtman and Dr. Gerson discussed some of the controversies surrounding the Age-Related Eye Diseases Study 2 (AREDS2), including fish oil, lutein/zeaxanthin, and genetic testing.

“Results of the AREDS2 study will likely raise more questions than they were intended to answer,” says Optometry Times Editorial Advisory Board Member Leo Semes, OD, FAAO. “Going forward, perhaps a generation, we will look back on it (AREDS 2) and see that it represented groundwork, not a milestone.”

Read more here.   

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