Get Your Collaboration On!

By Walter O. Whitley, OD, MBA

On behalf of my Co-Chief Medical Editors Andy Morgenstern, OD; Bill Trattler, MD; and the rest of the Advanced Ocular Care team, I want to thank you for reading and contributing to AOC. Our second-to-none publication highlights the future of eye care by focusing on ocular disease and integrated care, providing readers with firsthand knowledge and experience from leading experts in optometry and ophthalmology. We hope you have had a chance to read the ongoing series “Best Practices in Integrated Care,” which is featured in AOC and CRST, our sister publication for cataract and refractive surgeons. The articles in that series explore how eye care providers can best work together to provide patient-centered care of the highest possible quality.

We encourage you to attend and contribute to one of the upcoming educational meetings sponsored by Bryn Mawr Communications (BMC), the publisher of AOC. My Co-Chiefs and I recently attended the International Congress of Scleral Contacts and Advanced Refractive Congress, also called the ICSC and ARC, held back-to-back in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. These highly interactive meetings provided unique learning experiences, with world-renowned experts in optometry and ophthalmology sharing cutting-edge pearls for clinical practice and integrated care. Attendees received top-notch education and networked with fellow attendees, speakers, and industry representatives. The interaction between optometry and ophthalmology seen during such networking mimicked the real-world collaboration necessary to provide the best care, technologies, and procedures to our patients. In the next few months, the BMC team is hosting several more educational opportunities that embrace this spirit of collaboration: Millennial Eye Live in Nashville, Tenn. (, and Changing Practice Patterns in Optometry: Adapting Your Practice for an Outcomes-based World, a meeting that will be held in several locations: Nashville; Denver; Dallas; San Francisco; and Tysons Corner, Va. ( We hope to see you there.

Now let’s talk glaucoma, which is this issue’s cover focus and one of the hottest topics in eye care. The past year has seen the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approve a pair of minimally invasive glaucoma surgery devices: the Cypass (Alcon) and the Xen Gel Stent (Allergan). We look forward to upcoming FDA approvals of at least two glaucoma medications—latanoprostene bunod ophthalmic solution 0.024% (Vyzulta; Bausch + Lomb) and netarsudil ophthalmic solution 0.02% (Rhopressa, Aerie)—that will add new tools to our armamentarium. Additionally, advances in drug delivery technologies may soon lead to novel delivery systems that will provide sustained release of glaucoma medications.

With these advances come opportunities to improve glaucoma collaboration and comanagement. Unlike cataract comanagement, in collaborative care for glaucoma, numerous medications, procedures, and surgeries combine with differing levels of practitioner comfort to create a complex matrix. Communication is vital to ensure that all players (patient, optometrist, and surgeon) are on the same page. In that spirit, if you have glaucoma collaboration pearls you wish to share, be sure to contact AOC so that we can continue to sustain the conversation between optometrists and ophthalmologists.

Walter O. Whitley, OD, MBA, FAAO
Chief Medical Editor