Providing care for your patients during their recovery from cataract surgery can be exciting and gratifying. Few experiences will cement patients to your practice like regaining their vision; it will also help your clinic operate at the peak of its capacity. Most patients have a straightforward recovery, and only a few require more attention. If any serious problems present, your surgeon is standing by, ready to assist.
Each month, our clinic and the community optometrists we serve see hundreds of cataract patients through their healing process. This article describes the sequence and elements of an uncomplicated recovery from cataract surgery and then discusses how to handle some of the more common complications.
Infectious keratitis is a prevalent source of vision loss. While data from the 1990s report incidence as 30,000 cases per year in the United States, a newer study suggests this number has more than doubled. A small but significant percentage of these eyes go on to require corneal transplantation; between 2% and 6% will require an urgent transplant and an even higher percentage will require surgery to ameliorate resultant scars. A smaller number, perhaps as high 1.8% of ulcers seen at academic centers, go on to require enucleation or evisceration.
Because of the potential for severe vision loss, microbial ulcer management requires critical thinking at nearly all junctures, as well as careful and thoughtful follow-up. Based on the severity of infection upon diagnosis, the degree of virulence of the particular microbe and patient-specific features, corneal infections can sometimes progress despite aggressive and appropriate intervention. The good news, however, is that when these infections are identified and treated early, the odds of a favorable outcome are much greater.
The advent of soft disposable contact lenses permanently altered the contact lens landscape, resulting in the decline of corneal gas permeable (GP) lens fitting. GP lenses are increasingly relegated to patients with complex prescriptions or high vision demands, and specialty designs such as custom soft toric, hybrid and scleral lenses are now widely available and steadily growing in popularity. Consequently, corneal GP lenses are often overlooked as a first choice.
Thanks to today’s technology, complications related to contact lens overwear and poor lens-to-cornea alignment can be identified early on to help avoid permanent corneal damage. It is important to be aware of common GP lens complications and understand how to troubleshoot in order to maintain good corneal health and lasting comfort.
Specialty contact lens designs help us restore significant visual function in patients with difficult prescriptions and corneal conditions. As these designs have flourished, so too have available options for these individuals. Several lens manufacturers aim to provide designs that improve predictability and efficiency in the fitting process.
Scleral lenses in particular have seen a number of advancements over the past several years. These lenses are intended to clear the cornea and are separated from it by a nonpreserved saline solution. As our knowledge of scleral lens fitting improves, the process has become easier. Here, we discuss the factors that have simplified scleral lens fitting for today’s practitioners.
Become a troubleshooting master and your GP lens patients will reap the benefits.
Early identification and treatment is crucial when dealing with these infections.
This modality was all the rage until concerns arose. Is it still worth fitting patients with these contact lenses?
Here’s what you need to know about this specialized procedure for treating blinding corneal disease when traditional therapies don’t work.
As the year comes to a close, we are recounting our most-read design stories from 2017. Here are #10 through #6!
By Marjolijn Bijlefeld—At the second annual Theia Awards for Excellence, the spotlight was, deservedly, on the three winners…
A recent Women In Optometry Pop-up Poll showed that 46 percent of the respondents said that if they were starting their careers over again, they would not choose optometry.