Catch up on what happened in optometry during the week of October 2-October 6.
Catch up with what Optometry Times®' shared this week:
Chris Wroten, OD
There’s no denying the workforce transformation that occurred when the COVID-19 pandemic reared its ugly head. Health care has certainly not been immune to these changes, and while rural clinics have traditionally been more insulated from short-term labor trends than their suburban and urban counterparts, even they have experienced higher staff turnover and more hiring challenges over the past 3 years.
In fact, staffing tops the list of anxieties for the health care industry at large this year, with the US health care industry alone losing more than 500,000 employees each month in 2022.1
In 2022, staff turnover within health care ranged from 19.5% in hospitals (down from a high of 26% in 2021) to 65% for at-home care providers and 94% at nursing homes.1 Labor workforce shortages exist internationally as well,2 with staff turnover causing significant financial burdens and creating impediments to care for both large and small health care clinics alike.
Lynda Charters; Antoni Vallbona-Garcia, PhD
A team of Dutch investigators attempting to elucidate the pathogenesis of primary open-angle glaucoma (POAG), the most common of the glaucomas, found that fewer mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) copies were present in the blood of patients with high-tension glaucoma (HTG) compared with those with normal-tension glaucoma (NTG), suggesting that genetically deficient mtDNA replication may be a culprit in HTG.1
This finding may result in a low number of mtDNA copies in the retinal ganglion cells (RGCs), the death of which is characteristic of the pathophysiology of glaucoma, according to first author Antoni Vallbona-Garcia, PhD, from the University Eye Clinic Maastricht, Maastricht University Medical Center+; the Department of Toxicogenomics, Maastricht University; and the School for Mental Health and Neuroscience, Maastricht University, all in the Netherlands.
David Hutton, Managing Editor, Ophthalmology Times
Some 45 million people in the United States wear contact lenses, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Amid this, Prevent Blindness has declared October as Contact Lens Safety Month in an effort to educate patients on the correct methods of contact lens use to avoid serious vision issues.
Unfortunately, the CDC noted in a recent study that more than 80 percent of contact lens wearers reported at least one behavior that put them at risk for a contact lens-related eye infection. According to a news release, incidents include sleeping or napping in lenses, swimming in lenses, and replacing both lenses and lens storage cases at intervals longer than the recommended period.
Colored contact lenses are popular year-round for people who want to change the color of their iris. Each year at Halloween, there is a surge of people using colored contact lenses to enhance their costumes.
The American Academy of Optometry recently announced the recipients of this year’s Garland W. Clay award.
The award is bestowed on authors of a manuscript published in Optometry and Vision Science that has been among the top publications in the journal cited in the world research literature in the preceding 5 years and that received the majority vote of the Optometry and Vision Science Editorial Board.
Cecelia Koetting, OD, FAAO; Elizabeth Yeu, MD
Results of the BRIO-I study, the first of 2 phase 3 clinical trials of Brimochol PF (carbachol/brimonidine tartrate; Visus Therapeutics), a topical, fixed-dose combination for the treatment of presbyopia, have recently been released. They give us reason for great optimism about this drug in particular and the future of medical presbyopia correction more generally.
For a combination therapy to be approved in the United States, the contribution of each of the individual components must be demonstrated. This requires that the combination product must be shown to be statistically superior to each component administered alone. This has been a high hurdle as, until now, no phase 3 study has shown this in presbyopia.
In the study, a single dose of Brimochol PF was compared with each of the individual monotherapies (carbachol 2.75% and brimonidine tartrate 0.1%) in a crossover design in which every subject received all 3 drops after a minimum 3-day washout. This design helped ensure that patient characteristics such as baseline pupil size, ocular surface issues, and residual accommodation were consistent across all 3 treatment arms.
Michele Andrews, OD; Kassi Jackson, Editor
Michele Andrews, OD, vice president of professional and government affairs of CooperVision, sat down with Optometry Times' editor Kassi Jackson to share a company pipeline update.
Marlisa Miller, Editorial Intern
A New Mexico woman alleges in a lawsuit that she had to have an eye removed because of defective contact lenses sold by Hubble Contacts.
Stephanie Guarisco, from Clovis, NJ, claims after using the lenses for only a few weeks, she experienced severe pain and injury. This ultimately led to the loss of her right eye. She is suing Hubble’s parent company, Vision Path, for consumer fraud, negligence, and other counts.