Ophthalmology Overview: Early Diagnosis of Blinding Diseases, Increasing Access to Eye Care, and More

Highlighting the latest ophthalmology-related news reported across MJH Life Sciences™.

Highlighting the latest ophthalmology-related news reported across MJH Life Sciences™.

Novel Laser Imaging System May Improve Detection, Treatment of Blinding Diseases

As reported by Modern Retina™, a novel noncontact laser imaging system developed by engineering investigators at the University of Waterloo was noted to potentially assist doctors in diagnosing and treating eye diseases associated with causing blindness that are typically diagnosed only after vision is irreversibly affected.

Designed to detect telltale signs of major blinding diseases in retinal blood and tissue, such as age-related macular degeneration and diabetic retinopathy, the system leverages patented technology known as photoacoustic remote sensing, which uses multicolored lasers to image human tissue without touching it with almost instant feedback.

Investigators noted that the technology is also being evaluated in breast, gastroenterological, skin, and other cancerous tissues, as well as real-time imaging for surgeons to guide them during the removal of brain tumors.

Smartphone-Based Eye Screening and Referral System Boosts Access to Care

According to study findings reported by Ophthalmology Times®, a smartphone-based eye screening and referral system was shown to nearly triple the number of individuals with eye issues who attended primary care in the Tras Nzoia County of Kenya, with appropriate uptake of hospital services also found to increase among participants compared with the standard approach.

Recruiting more than 128,000 people, researchers randomly assigned participants to receive the Peek Community Eye Health system (Peek CEH), a smartphone-based referral system that includes vision screening, SMS reminders on follow-up appointments, and real-time reporting, or the standard approach of health center–based outreach clinics.

In assessing the differences in average attendance rate at triage by participants with eye problems, the Peek CEH intervention group exhibited significantly greater attendance rates, amounting to a rate difference of 906 per 10,000 people (intervention, n = 1429; control, n = 522).

Managing Endogenous Endophthalmitis Require Comprehensive CAre

As a rare occurrence due to ocular surgery, endophthalmitis is a commonly misdiagnosed infection that is caused by the hematogenous spread from a distant nonophthalmic source that may be bacterial, fungal, parasitic, or viral.

As reported by Modern Retina, the endogenous form of the infection is increasingly rare—just 1 per 1 million cases annually—but has been indicated to more likely affect patients who are  immunocompromised, such as those with diabetes, systemic cancer, and HIV. Notably, patients with the infection typically present with varying degrees of pain, inflammation, and visual loss.

With a misdiagnosis prevalence as high as 63%, Winfried Amoaku, PhD, MBChB, FRCS, associate professor/reader in ophthalmology, University of Nottingham, said that a full systematic analysis is warranted to determine the source of the infection, which includes ophthalmic ultrasound and intraocular biopsy of the vitreous for microscopy, culturing and sensitivity, and blood cultures.