Ophthalmology Overview: Virtual Training for Diabetic Retinopathy, Impact of Blurry Vision, 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 Program to Provide Virtual Training on Managing Diabetic Retinopathy

As reported by Ophthalmology Times®, a novel virtual Flying Eye Hospital project by Orbis in collaboration with FedEx will train ophthalmologists across China in treating diabetic retinopathy (DR), one of the leading causes of blindness worldwide.

As COVID-19 caused significant disruptions in access to quality eye care, a major preventive measure in combating the risk of DR in patients with diabetes, Orbis transitioned its Flying Eye Hospital training from its traditional offerings on board an MD-10 aircraft to virtual ones in 2020. Through the 5-week virtual program, ophthalmologists and ophthalmologist residents will gain access to live lectures by Orbis’ Volunteer Faculty of medical experts on identifying, managing, and treating DR.

Since becoming active in China nearly 4 decades ago, Orbis has implemented 220 projects in 25 regions across the country, with 20,000 health workers having been trained and more than 130,000 sight-saving operations having been completed during this time.

Survey Highlights Burden of Blurry Vision in Americans

According to a survey conducted by the AbbVie subsidiary Allergan on 1000 US adults aged 40 to 55 reporting near vision issues, 65% of respondents said they were not prepared to have eyesight worsen as they aged and approximately 1 in 4 noted they were in denial that their near vision was declining.

Reported by Ophthalmology Times®, the impact of age-related blurry near vision, known as presbyopia, has been indicated as a pervasive occurrence in affected patients, with half of survey participants saying they decreased or gave up on a hobby because they could no longer adequately see up close. Although solutions such as corrective eyeglasses can work to manage the burden of presbyopia, 51% of participants noted they lose or misplace them once a week and 26% reported losing them daily.

Notably, 84% of respondents said that it was more frustrating to have blurry near vision when trying to read compared with having a Zoom/video call freeze amid the pandemic.

Anterior Uveitis Therapy Meets Primary Efficacy Endpoint

Findings of the phase 2 multicenter, randomly assigned, double-masked pilot trial of OCS-02 (Oculis), a novel, topical tumor necrosis factor (TNF)–α antibody eye drop, showed that the investigational therapy was significantly effective in reducing ocular inflammation in patients with acute anterior uveitis.

Presented virtually at the Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology 2021 Annual Meeting, and reported by Ophthalmology Times®, results showed that the anti–TNF-α eye drop met its primary efficacy endpoint, rate of response at day 15 of treatment, with 55.62% of patients achieving the goal.

The effect of the drug was shown to continue increasing after OCS-02 was tapered on day 15 and discontinued on day 22. Common adverse effects included anterior chamber cells and ocular pain, iris adhesions, and photophobia.