Optic nerve physician resource center unveiled

Fort Lauderdale, FL-The development of an optic nerve physician resource center, in conjunction with the “All Eyes on Glaucoma” campaign, was announced during the Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology (ARVO) annual meeting. The resource center, available to eye-health professionals at www.alleyesonglaucoma.com, will provide the tools needed for the better diagnosis and management of patients with glaucoma including information on newer diagnostic technologies that assess the optic nerve.

The development of an optic nerve physician resource center, in conjunction with the “All Eyes on Glaucoma” campaign, was announced during the Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology (ARVO) annual meeting. The resource center, available to eye-health professionals at www.alleyesonglaucoma.com, will provide the tools needed for the better diagnosis and management of patients with glaucoma including information on newer diagnostic technologies that assess the optic nerve.

The resource center, according to the site, is based on a collaborative worldwide project and is designed to increase the awareness and demonstrate the effectiveness of imaging technology in order to enhance clinical management of glaucoma.

Physicians who utilize the resource center will gain an understanding of the importance and value of imaging technologies, know about available technologies for imaging the optic disc and retinal nerve fiber layer (RNFL), and learn to apply imaging technology and monitor glaucoma across the glaucoma continuum through interactive case studies.

About 50% of people with glaucoma remain undiagnosed, according to Robert N. Weinreb, MD, distinguished professor of ophthalmology and director of the Hamilton Glaucoma Center at the University of California, San Diego, who reviewed ways to detect structural changes to the optic nerve before functional vision loss occurs. For these patients, diagnosis is essential to help prevent vision loss, added Dr. Weinreb, who is also president of the American Glaucoma Society and a past president of the World Glaucoma Association and ARVO.

The optic nerve is something that all eye-health physicians “are aware of but unfortunately don’t translate to their clinical practice,” he said. “The optic nerve is an integral component of all eye exams.”

Damage to the optic nerve often occurs before visual field loss is experienced. This is due in part to a lack of awareness about newer optic nerve imaging techniques that allow for earlier diagnosis and management of glaucoma progression, he said.

Each imaging technology measures different features of the optic nerve and RNFL. “Use of multiple imaging technologies is complementary,” Dr. Weinreb said.

The global educational initiative is sponsored by Pfizer Ophthalmics.