“Cleveland Rocks! Cleveland Rocks!”

By Andrew Morgenstern, OD, FAAO, and Walt Whitley, OD, MBA, FAAO

Who’s jumping on the Cleveland bandwagon with me? After one of the longest sports championship droughts by any city in history, Cleveland is well on its way to earning not one, but two championships in a year. With all of this excitement (including last week’s EastWest Eye Conference), we all start to meet “new” fans like me who want to be a part of history. Drew Carey must be pleased! Go Indians!

Let’s talk about all the anticipation and buzz in eye care. In the past 6 months, our industry has seen numerous FDA approvals from medical devices to procedures to pharmaceuticals, all of which have the potential to have a significant impact on our patients and our practices. We have seen the arrival of the long-awaited Symphony IOL platform (Abbott) that provides an extended range of vision for patients eager to reduce their dependency on glasses. We have heard about corneal crosslinking for several years, and now we have the ability to stop the progression of corneal ectasia while at the same time improving the shape of the cornea and the quality of our patients’ vision with Avedro. For patients looking for the fountain of youth, we now have corneal inlays (Kamra; AcuFocus and Raindrop; ReVision ) to restore both near and intermediate vision while maintaining distance acuity. When it comes to the ocular surface, we have an addition to our armamentarium with Xiidra (Shire) to address both the signs and symptoms of dry eye disease.

Where do these new options fit it? It all comes down to what is in the best interest of our patients. First, we need to look at the current treatments available and determine whether they are addressing all of our patients’ needs. Many of us already achieve successful outcomes and wonder why we need more. Take multifocal IOLs , for example. Are patients happy with their visual quality, or is there something more that could be addressed, such as improved near vision and/or reducing glare and halos? We need to evaluate the new options and identify what gaps they may fill. Some advances, such as corneal crosslinking, address an immediate need, and others may be an alternative to current therapies, such as in dry eye disease. The questions we all have is, what does the evidence-based literature show us, and will the new developments fill existing needs? We need to look at our successes and failures to determine whether emerging treatments are better for our patients. Lastly, we must decide which approach to take, whether it be all in, a small trial, or wait and see how it is working for our peers.

Without innovation, where would be today? It has taken years of market analysis, research and development, and clinical trials to make these technologies available for our patients. This is an exciting time for eye care, and we have numerous strategies we can employ to improve patients’ vision and quality of life. I am eager to see the benefits these advances provide. I’m looking forward to our patients’ results and cautiously optimistic that the new options will not only meet but exceed our expectations. The question that remains is when do we jump on the bandwagon? n

Walter O. Whitley, OD, MBA, FAAO

Chief Medical Editor