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EyeCon 2022: Ophthalmology Times co-chairs discuss highlights of Day 1

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Ophthalmology Times®' EyeCon co-chairs Peter J. McDonnell, MD, director of the Wilmer Eye Institute, and glaucoma specialist Oluwatosin U. Smith MD, from Glaucoma Associates of Texas, discuss some of the highlights of EyeCon 2022.

Ophthalmology Times®' EyeCon co-chairs Peter J. McDonnell, MD, director of the Wilmer Eye Institute, and glaucoma specialist Oluwatosin U. Smith MD, from Glaucoma Associates of Texas, discuss some of the highlights of EyeCon 2022, including sessions on geographic atrophy and how ophthalmologists will care for a growing number of patients diagnosed with wet AMD and myopia in the years to come.

This transcript has been edited for clarity:

Oluwatosin U. Smith MD: Hello, everyone, I'm Tosin Smith, with Glaucoma Associates of Texas, also affiliated with the UT Southwestern Medical School. Here with me is my co-chair.

Peter J. McDonnell, MD: Hi, I'm Peter McDonnell. I'm director of the Wilmer Eye Institute at Johns Hopkins in Baltimore. So tell me, Co-Director Smith, what has leapt out at you with all these new exciting data from today?

Smith: We've had a really great session, we've had some excellent lectures, but I would say that the session that we've had on age-related macular degeneration in terms of the new treatments that are coming in for geographic atrophy, that that's really going to be different for that subset of patients. It's exciting to see that those things that are on the horizon, and hopefully it will be available to benefit patients coming up shortly. How about you?

McDonnell: Well, you're making a great point and how, as a society, we're going to be caring for all those patients with dry AMD when already just caring for the wet AMD patients is a big challenge will be interesting to see. I was impressed today with the data on the prevalence of myopia: 2 billion myopes, we have 500 million high myopes over six diopters, and the and the rapid increase in prevalence of that condition is going to be a major public health challenge for the world. And it's quite a mystery, the genetics of it, the environmental aspects of it. We learned about many different therapies from orthokeratology to atropine. But there really doesn't seem to be a satisfactory scientific based approach to dealing with this incredibly common problem that our species is facing is very interesting.

Smith: That definitely is. We also had a really exciting session, even though it was something that many of us do every day, with Dr. Elizabeth Yeu earlier in the day where she went over ocular surface issues, cataract challenges, picking IOLs. Many of us ophthalmologists have those challenges and have those scenarios that we face every day. She had a very concise way of going through the different steps that she goes through to achieve the best results for her patients.

McDonnell: You know, such a common problem dry eye and ocular surface disease. And it's really frustrating to do a beautiful operation and have the patient be disappointed because of problems with the ocular surface that is keeping them from getting the vision results that they wanted. So her stepwise approach to looking preoperatively at the ocular surface and tuning that up as well as possible is really excellent, good advice. And you know, here despite the pandemic, impression I have is that has not slowed innovation in ophthalmology. A lot of fun, interesting, exciting new things are in the pipeline or about to be approved or recently approved for us to use to help take better care of our patients.

Smith: All together, I would say wonderful sessions.

McDonnell: I agree and look forward to tomorrow and to future years of having this wonderful meeting in this beautiful environment of Marco Island.

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