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Top 10 stories of 2020


It’s another Optometry Times® holiday tradition: the end-of-year top stories list.

Let’s take a look back at that unprecedented year that just ended…and what stories our readers found interesting and worthy of their time.

YOU, dear reader, decide which stories make this list.

We calculate which stories received the most clicks on our website. Those website visits are also driven by our email newsletters and social media postings. Clicking on a story adds a vote for that story.

In an interesting twist, all stories in the top 10 are new to the list. That tells us that readers found our new content compelling.

A common thread in our top 10 stories, of course, is COVID-19. Half of the stories addressed drugs to treat the virus or other effects related to it.

Before diving into 2020’s top stories, see the top stories for the past few years.

Top stories of 2019

Top stories of 2018

Top stories of 2017

Top stories of 2016

Here are 2020’s top stories of the year.

10.Demodex blepharitis treatment shows positive results, says Tarsus

Associate Editor Brooke Beery makes her first appearance on the top 10 list. What an achievement!

This article summarizes new data from Tarsus Pharmaceuticals on its demodex treatment product in development, TP-03.

The Phase 2b Mars study “demonstrated that the use of TP-03 for 4 weeks was well-tolerated and showed promising efficacy in the treatment of demodex blepharitis with treatment effects persisting for at least 90 days, according to the company,” Brooke writes.

Find out the study details HERE.

9. 5 common ocular problems seen during the pandemic

Jade Coats, OD, took notice early on during the COVID-19 lockdown that her patients were presenting with several common conditions.

She writes: “Throughout the quarantine, I have noticed an interesting shift in ocular problems at my practice. Some of the common ocular ‘emergencies’ have presented more frequently over the past several months, including dry eye disease associated with computer use and ill-fitting masks, corneal abrasions and foreign bodies due to home improvement projects, herpes simplex virus and herpes zoster virus flare-ups, along with episodes of central serous chorioretinopathy.

This story represents the first entry of COVID-19–related stories in 2020. Read on for more!

More from Dr. Coats

8. Patients, contact lenses, and the internet

Chief Optometric Editor Ben Casella, OD, FAAO, weighed in on a study published in Spain, titled, “Characteristics, Behaviors, and Awareness of Contact Lens Wearers Purchasing Lenses Over the Internet.”

He writes: “The participants who purchased their contact lenses exclusively online reported a lower frequency of eye examinations.”

The study also looked at hygiene and risk factors for patients who purchase contact lenses online.

More from Dr. Casella

7. 2 factors that increase risk of microbial keratitis in contact lens wearers

This piece from Chief Optometric Editor Ben Casella, OD, FAAO, appeared in November 2020 and quickly proved to be a popular story with readers. And this is his second entry on the top 10 list this year.

Dr. Casella reviewed a case control study on risk factors for contact lens-related microbial keratitis.

He writes: “The results were intriguing. When compared to never showering with contact lenses, those who showered with them in every day had over 7 times the risk of developing a corneal infection.”

Read the full article HERE.

More from Dr. Casella

6. Remdesivir’s FDA approval to treat COVID-19 sets it ahead of treatment pack

Here is another entry of COVID-19 stories, and associate editor Brooke Beery’s second appearance in the top 10.

In late October 2020, remdesivir (Veklury) from Gilead Science became the U.S.’s first Food & Drug Administration (FDA)-approved drug for treating the coronavirus.

She also outlined other treatments for COVID-19 in the pipeline. Take a look!

5. Outlook Therapeutics updates status of Lytenava (bevacizumabvikg) NORSE 1

Associate Editor Brooke Beery hits the list again with her third story—this time outlining data results for NORSE 1, a clinical trial for wet age-related macular degeneration drug ONS-5010 from Outlook Therapeutics.

See the update HERE.

4. Coronavirus: A quick summary for optometrists

Editor Emeritus Ernie Bowling, OD, FAAO, provided solid information about COVID-19 early on in the pandemic.

And judging its Number 4 spot in the list, ODs appreciated his timely reasearch.

Dr. Bowling offered a timeline of the pandemic, transmission details, ocular manifestations, and precautions to take.

Read his story HERE.

More from Dr. Bowling

3. Can azithromycin treat COVID-19?

Hitting the list in the Number 3 spot, Tracy Schroeder Swartz, OD, MS, FAAO, provides details on why an antibiotic—azithromycin—might be used to treat a viral infection.

This article also appeared early in the pandemic, and it outlined what ODs need to know about this drug.

Read her update HERE.

More from Dr. Swartz

2. Hypochlorous acid: harnessing nature’s germ killer

This story harkens from December 2019. Given its Number 2 position in this year’s list, its topic readers clearly resonated during the pandemic.

Margie Recalde, OD, FAAO, writes: “Hypochlorous acid is the perfect weapon to fight germs. It hits hard against pathogens like Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus aureus and Pseudomonas aeroginosa. Yet this powerful weapon is 100 percent safe for humans, chemical free, non-toxic, and all-natural.”

Check out why this story ranked second in this year’s top 10 list!

More from Dr. Recalde

1. Headache a key symptom of COVID-19

Hitting our Number 1 spot—by a huge margin—Associate Editor Brooke Beery’s story summarizing research showing that headache is a primary symptom of COVID-19 illustrates how the pandemic took over everyone’s lives in 2020.

She writes: “Findings from an observational study of more than 100 patients show headache onset may occur during the presymptomatic and/or symptomatic phases of COVID-19 progression and sometimes mimics tension or migraine headaches.”

See our top story of 2020 HERE.

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