Article Date: 9/1/2010

Wise to the World

Wise to the World

By Erin Murphy, Associate Editor

Two Therapies Shown to Treat Retinopathy Progression

Two cardiovascular therapies may slow the progression of diabetic retinopathy in high-risk adults with type 2 diabetes, according to the Action to Control Cardiovascular Risk in Diabetes (ACCORD) Eye Study, supported by the National Institutes of Health.

Of the 10,251 participants in the ACCORD study, 2,856 participants — all adults with type 2 diabetes at high risk for heart attack, stroke or cardiovascular death — were included in the ACCORD Eye Study. Researchers compared three intensive treatments to standard treatments for lowering cardiovascular risks and analyzed how those treatments affected diabetic retinopathy progression over 4 years.

Intensive versus standard blood pressure control measures had no impact on diabetic retinopathy. However, intensive measures for blood sugar control and lipid therapy (combination fibrate and statin) reduced the progression of diabetic retinopathy compared with standard measures. The full study has been published in the New England Journal of Medicine.

■ Read the press release at


Klein BE. Reduction in risk of progression of diabetic retinopathy. N Engl J Med. 2010;363:287-288.

SCCO Students Hone Toric Fitting Skills at Industry-Supported Workshop

Eighty-six third-year students at Southern California College of Optometry (SCCO) gained valuable hands-on fitting, prescribing and communication experience at Industry Toric Workshops held there this summer.

"This workshop is a phenomenal opportunity for the students to learn hands-on skills in fitting soft toric contact lenses," said SCCO Associate Professor Harue J. Marsden, OD, M.S. "More importantly, in one evening they have the opportunity to fit lenses from various manufacturers and learn the nuances of various products. This is an extraordinary collaboration of industry partners and education that benefits student learning and patient care."

The workshops were developed by Teague Training Group of Huntington Beach, Calif., and supported by Bausch + Lomb and founding sponsors CIBA Vision Corporation and Vistakon, a division of Johnson & Johnson Vision Care Inc.

Discussing options for toric contact lenses are, left to right, Dr. Annie Chang, Phil Duran, Elena Chung, Thanh Mai and Valarie Ng during Teague Training Group's Industry Toric Workshop at Southern California College of Optometry.

Practitioners Not Gaga for Lenses

The American Academy of Ophthalmology is calling the decorative "circle lenses," contact lenses popularized by Lady Gaga in a recent video, "an emerging and potentially dangerous trend among teenagers and young adults." In particular, the organization is concerned that the lenses are available online and in stores without a prescription, exam or fitting. It warns, "Inflammation and pain can occur from improperly fitted, over-the-counter lenses, leading to more serious problems including corneal abrasions and blinding infections."

Source: American Academy of Ophthalmology

Depression Dulls Contrast Sensitivity

People with depression often use terms such as "gray mood" to describe their feelings and experiences. To objectively assess how patients with depression see the world, researchers tested visual contrast perception with a pattern electroretinogram in 40 healthy control subjects, as well as 20 medicated and 20 unmedicated patients with depression.

Retinal contrast gain was dramatically lower among depressed patients with and without medication, compared to patients without depression.


Bubl E, Kern E, Ebert D, et al. Seeing gray when feeling blue? Depression can be measured in the eye of the diseased. Biological Psychiatry 2010;68:205-208.

Optometric Management, Issue: September 2010