The Dry Eye Zone

Rebecca's Blog

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ARVO Sunday afternoon - more posters

More poster session notes

Moved over to Section B. There are acres of posters… there really are… and I get to start over tomorrow and Tuesday!

I couldn’t help noticing how many people over here in the retinal research sections had white canes, and a service dog or two even. Definitely a lot of personal interest going on in vision research, and this would definitely be the place to catch up on what’s going on.

Most of that is outside my areas of interest, but I did browse most aisles of posters just to get a sense of some of the trends.

One thing that I saw a little bit more of this time was mentions of patients. You know, US. And what we want and how we feel about things. Considering the push at the NIH & elsewhere to start at least making some effort to involve patients’ voices, though, I was surprised not to see more evidence of this in the poster sessions. At least today’s. We’ll see what the next couple of days bring.

Minor tidbit from the glaucoma section. A poster mentioned, in its background information, that long-term benzalkonium chloride exposure is a risk factor for dysfunctioning blebs. Just what I needed, another reason to dislike BAK.

Then came cataract surgery: I browsed this section for anything dry eye related. Usually when I think of cataract and dry eye, I think of dry eye after cataract surgery, but this time I was noticing things like increased efforts to detect and treat dry eye before cataract surgery, not but because of dry eye concerns per se but because of how undiagnosed dryness could interfere with calculating the intraocular lens power. There was a poster from Melbourne on using the axis of astigmatism to identify subclinical dry eye, and another on tear osmolarity because of how a poor tear film can affect keratometry readings.

And more cataract: A poster from Central South University in China studied MGD patients before and after cataract surgery and determined that while they may have worse symptoms after cataract surgery, the MGD itself doesn’t get worse following surgery.

Then I meandered back to the other section where most of the cornea stuff was, in case I missed anything, and sure enough!

New! HL-036 (HanAll BioPharma): Phew, I didn’t even have this one on the radar, but I looked it up and I see that they recently started recruiting for a Phase 3 clinical trial! Just added it to the pipeline page. In the poster presented today, they compared two different concentrations with placebo. The lower one had results similar to placebo (in terms of clinical signs) while the higher was much better.

Then there were two posters on slow release cyclosporine. One had too much of a crowd for too long and I lost patience. The other one, I allowed the author to talk me through the entire store. Very nice young man and he’ll never know quite how much of it was over my head. It was actually really interesting, but the particular work he was doing was nowhere near human studies.

Missing in action: There was a poster I was really looking forward to and it had been highlighted as a “hot topic” in the press office… It was about an OCT imaging process to quantify inflammation. I was so disappointed to find that the presenter had withdrawn from the meeting at the last minute. But I looked up the paper in our app, and here’s the gist of the conclusion: “Magnetic nanoparticles can be visualized using OCT… The high sensitivity suggestions that the visualization of inflammatory cells labeled by functionalized nanoparticles is possible…” It’s in very early stages but sounds promising. From a patient’s standpoint, “inflammation” too often sounds rather nebulous and subjective. The idea of imaging for it sounds fascinating.

I always forget…

…how hard convention centers are on the eyes. Exhibit halls especially, but maybe I just noticed it more there because I spent so much time there in the poster sessions. Cool, dry, blowing air everywhere. I love coming to these things, but by halfway through the day, my lenses get so uncomfortable and my eyes are so light sensitive I want to screen.

Anyway, I made it a relatively short day today - left when my laptop battery and my eyes had both given out. Tomorrow will be quite full - back to back presentations most of the day plus a dinner tomorrow night.