NEW ORLEANS — New technologies are aiding global outreach programs to help the millions of people worldwide who are blind, according to Alan S. Crandall, MD, who gave the Charles D. Kelman Lecture at the American Academy of Ophthalmology meeting.
“Nine out of 10 of the 36 million people who are blind from curable disease live in developing countries, but we also feel it’s important to do help at the home, which is why we’re a global outreach and not an international one,” Crandall said.
No person with a blinding condition should be without hope, understanding or treatment. Crandall and his team are training the “next teachers” in developing countries and teaching ophthalmic care at all levels to improve treatment.
In addition to global treatment, Crandall said the future of glaucoma and cataract care has two exciting new technologies, one low-tech and one high-tech.
While not yet available, IOL power adjustment by a femtosecond laser is a high-tech procedure that uses laser-induced chemical reaction in a targeted area of the IOL optic. The laser can change the index refraction of the IOL in the eye with no explantation needed. The technique can be used for hydrophobic or hydrophilic acrylic IOLs and is noninvasive. Premium IOLs can be added or removed, he said.
“We’re in the process of getting this approved. I think it will be approved within the next 6 to 7 months,” he said.
In terms of low-tech advances, the miLOOP (Iantech) is a modern, safe and effective tool that will be able to help disassemble the nucleus, and it is good for hard cataracts, Crandall said.
“We feel this will be very effective for pseudoexfoliation and also for a unique eye with a loose lens because it’s so soft and it’s so gentle,” he said. – by Robert Linnehan
Crandall AS. Phaco at 50: The collision of cataract and glaucoma (plus). Presented at American Academy of Ophthalmology annual meeting; Nov. 11-14, 2017; New Orleans.
Disclosure: Crandall reports no relevant financial disclosures.