Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Dry Eye Relief Reinforced

There are estimates of 16 million dry eye patients in the United States that report symptoms to eye care professionals.  For these patients, good news in the form of Xiidra could not have come sooner.  Manufactured by Shire, Xiidra, aka lifitigrast opthhalmic solution,  a lymphocyte function-associated antigen 1 antagonist, was approved by the FDA for dry eye disease, on July 11, 2016.  
This is exciting news in the world of dry eye treatment.  Since 2005 Restasis, aka cyclosporine ophthalmic emulsion, (Allergan) was the only prescription solution available in the US to our dry eye patients.  Twelve years in the making, Xiidra is a new alternative to patients sensitive to Restasis, and who do not get complete relief from punctal plugs or frequently used artificial tears and other lubricants.
The drug’s safety and efficacy were assessed in more than 2,500 patients in four separate, randomized controlled studies. The results of the studies found that patients treated with Xiidra demonstrated improvement in their signs and symptoms of dry eye compared with patients treated with placebo.
Since FDA approval I have seen patients benefiting from Xiidra use.  When used twice daily, relief is felt two weeks after medication is started.  The only side effect that has been reported by the studies and my patients is a transient metallic taste after the drop is placed in the eye.  This fades with time and is less notable after persistent medication use.  
I am excited to see my patients using Xiidra long term and fighting the chronic inflammatory nature of the dry eye disease.  Currently first month supply is provided for free by the manufacturer given doctor's prescription.  Ask our office about your dry eye relief.

Friday, September 30, 2016

Cataract surgery linked to reduced mortality by 30%

Researchers evaluated the association between cataract surgery and mortality in a 5% random sample of U.S. Medicare beneficiaries. Overall, those who had cataract surgery lived longer.

Data was collected over a 10-year period from a cohort of more than 1.5 million patients.  This is the largest study of its kind making the results more valid since the sample size was so high.  Patients who had cataract surgery had a nearly 30% less mortality compared with those who did not have cataract surgery.

The association between extended life span and cataract surgery was significant outside of differences in systemic health problems like hypertension, high cholesterol and diabetis.  The association was strongest in women, in 80 to 84 year olds, and in those living in Western states.

The authors of this study hypothesize that cataract surgery improves a patient’s ability to care for themselves and remain physically and socially active, thus prolonging their life.

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

New Glasses Promise a Solution to Color Blindness

About 10 per cent of the population is color blind and simply can't perceive as many colors as those with normal vision. There has never been any way to correct the condition but now, a U.S. company claims they have created glasses that can open up a world of color to users. But some eye experts remain skeptical. Color blindness, or colour vision deficiency, as doctors call it, is more than just a nuisance. Most with the condition can't distinguish red from green and have trouble with aspects of everyday life. They can't become pilots, firefighters, electricians, police officers or take part in several other professions. An estimated 2.6 million Canadians are color blind, most of them men, because of a missing or mutated gene on their X-chromosome. There are different forms of the condition, but most people with a moderate form of red/green color blindness can correctly identify just five crayons from a standard box of 24. Now, the inventors of a brand of glasses called EnChroma say they have found a fix that is helping to bring the color back into users' lives. The EnChroma glasses don't work for every form of color blindness; in fact the company says they are effective in approximately 80 per cent of cases. But they say their glasses make colors appear brighter and more saturated. Users report that they can distinguish certain colors faster and more accurately. The company says the solution was discovered accidentally, when glasses provided to surgeons to help them distinguish tissue from blood during laser surgery also seemed to fix color vision. Devyn Vasseur is color blind and says the first time he tried the EnChroma glasses, he couldn't believe his eyes. "I looked up and I was like, Wow. Experiencing all these colors as an adult for the first time is indescribable," he says. Thanks to a series of testimonial videos showing people trying on the glasses for the first time, sales have exploded for the glasses, which cost about $400 a pair. "This year alone, we have sold over 10,000 pairs of eyewear," says Donald McPherson, the co-founder of EnChroma. But some ophthalmologists are skeptical, including Dr. Sam Markowitz of the Canadian Ophthalmological Society and Toronto Western Hospital, who says other products claiming to fix color blindness have come and gone. He would like to see hard research that show the glasses actually increase the number of colors users can see. "I would prefer to see validated color testing," he said. EnChroma says it's planning to do that and is also expanding into contact lenses that color-correct too. For more information, please visit: http://www.ctvnews.ca/sci-tech/new-glasses-promise-a-solution-to-colour-blindness-1.2669188