The annual meeting of the American Academy of Ophthalmology was held from Sept. 30 to Oct. 3 in Chicago and attracted participants from around the world, including ophthalmologists, optometrists, opticians, and other eye health care professionals. The conference featured presentations focusing on the latest advances in comprehensive eye care, including medical, surgical, and optical care.

In one study, Rahul Khurana, M.D., of Northern California Retina Vitreous Associates in West San Jose, and colleagues identified a high rate of loss to follow up (LTFU) after anti-vascular endothelial growth factor (anti-VEGF) injections among patients with neovascular age-related macular degeneration (AMD).

The authors performed a retrospective cohort analysis that included 62,825 patients with neovascular AMD identified from the national IRIS (Intelligent Research in Sight) Registry. The researchers found that one in nine patients treated with anti-VEGF therapy were LTFU in the United States. Risk factors included increasing age, male sex, private insurance, and Latino and African American ethnicity.

“There is a high rate of LTFU after anti-VEGF injections among patients with neovascular AMD,” Khurana said. “Patients whose care is interrupted or who are noncompliant with anti-VEGF therapy are at high risk of irreversible vision loss. Improving treatment adherence and follow-up is critical to improve visual outcomes in neovascular AMD.”

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As part of the SUN Project, Alejandro Fernandez-Montero, M.D., of Universidad de Navarra in Pamplona, Spain, and colleagues found that higher consumption of antioxidant vitamins, including A, C, and E, is tied to a lower risk for glaucoma development.

Over 12 years of follow-up, the authors evaluated antioxidant vitamin (A, C, and E) intake, which was extracted from the dietary and vitamin supplement data for 18,669 patients. The researchers found that a high consumption of antioxidant vitamins (A, C, and E) was associated with a lower risk for developing glaucoma. Each vitamin when studied alone did not show a protective effect against glaucoma, but there appeared to be a synergistic effect when these vitamins were consumed together.

“Glaucoma is a quite common pathology and a major cause of blindness in developed countries, so any strategy aimed at finding primary prevention tools can be extremely useful,” Fernandez-Montero said. “The use of preventive medicine is quite common in other medical disciplines, such as cardiology or neurology, for example, and I believe that in the next years, it should also gain a more prominent role in routine ophthalmologic visits.”

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Tsai-Chu Yeh, M.D., of Taipei Veterans General Hospital and the National Yang Ming Chiao Tung University in Taipei City, Taiwan, and colleagues identified a significant association between physical fitness and allergic conjunctivitis later in life in a nationwide cohort of schoolchildren.

The researchers examined 904,456 Taiwanese school children (10 years of age) between 2009 and 2018 using the nationwide Physical Fitness Test. The researchers found that better physical fitness was independently associated with a lower risk for developing allergic conjunctivitis. Higher air pollutant exposure, children living in urban areas, and prior allergic diseases were independently associated with an increased risk for allergic conjunctivitis.

“In light of these results, interventions designed to prevent allergic conjunctivitis should focus both on improving physical fitness and reducing environmental pollution,” Yeh said.

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AAO: Normal-Tension Glaucoma Tied to Higher Alzheimer Disease Risk

WEDNESDAY, Oct. 12, 2022 (HealthDay News) — People with normal-tension glaucoma have an increased risk for developing Alzheimer disease, according to a study presented at the annual meeting of the American Academy of Ophthalmology, held from Sept. 30 to Oct. 3 in Chicago.

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AAO: One in Nine Patients With Wet AMD Skip Follow-Up

THURSDAY, Oct. 6, 2022 (HealthDay News) — One in nine people with wet age-related macular degeneration are skipping appointments for sight-saving eye injections, according to a study presented at the annual meeting of the American Academy of Ophthalmology, held from Sept. 30 to Oct. 3 in Chicago.

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