Surge in Laser Vision Correction Procedures, Glaucoma Prevalence in West Africa, and More
As the pandemic led to significant delays and cancellations of elective surgeries last year, an article by Ophthalmology Times® highlighted the marked surge in refractive surgery since the fourth quarter of 2020, with volumes of laser vision correction procedures, including LASIK, SMILE, and PRK, experiencing their highest levels since tracking began in 2015.
Speaking on the rise in demand for refractive surgery, the Refractive Surgery Council said that the increase in procedures at the end of 2020 and beginning of this year were likely related to the deferral in care caused by the pandemic. However, they note that pandemic-related vision issues such as foggy glasses while wearing face masks and prevalence of digital eye strain due to increased screen usage may also have fueled interest in pursuing alternatives to glasses and contacts.
Assessing Prevalence of Glaucoma in West Africa
The Tema region of Ghana, West Africa, described as having potentially the highest rate of glaucoma worldwide, was spotlighted in an article by Ophthalmology Times®.
As prior population-based studies have found nearly 3 times the risk of glaucoma in individuals of African heritage compared with other ethnic groups, the Tema Eye Survey (TES) sought to explore the prevalence rates of blindness, visual disability, glaucoma, and other ocular diseases in adults of the region.
In TES survey findings of approximately 5607 randomly sampled adults 40 years and older, a total of 1869 individuals failed their field examination, and 1538 underwent clinic examinations. Adjusted for age and gender, the total primary angle-closure glaucoma prevalence rate was reported as 6.8%, which was almost double the rates found in East Africa, South Africa, and the United States. Notably, the prevalence of undiagnosed glaucoma among TES participants was 97%.
Retinitis Pigmentosa Therapy Granted Orphan Drug Designation by FDA
As reported by Modern Retina™, the FDA last week granted orphan drug designation to ADX-2191 (methotrexate for intravitreal injection) for the treatment of retinitis pigmentosa, a clinical collection of rare genetic eye diseases with no approved drug treatments.
Now granted orphan designations for 3 clinical indications, including for the treatment of primary vitreoretinal lymphoma and prevention of proliferative vitreoretinopathy, ADX-2191 may become the first drug indicated to treat the group of diseases affiliated with retinitis pigmentosa, which are known to cause retinal cell death and loss of vision.
Furthermore, manufacturer Aldeyra Therapeutics is assessing ADX-2191 in a phase 3 study for prevention of proliferative vitreoretinopathy.