Author Interviews, COVID -19 Coronavirus, Duke / 27.03.2020 Interview with: Dr. Rupesh Agrawal, MD Associate Professor Senior Consultant Ophthalmologist Duke-NUS Medical School, Singapore What is the background for this study? Wasn't Dr Li Wenliang, the Chinese physician who first alerted his community of coronavirus an opthalmologist, with possible exposure to tears from this surgical work with glaucoma patients? Response: Since the start of the pandemic, there have been multiple reports which suggested the transmission of SARS-CoV-2 via ocular fluids. As ophthalmologists, we come into close contact with tears on a daily basis during our clinical examination. Furthermore, many equipment in the clinic like the Goldman tonometer come into direct contact with such ocular fluids, providing a channel for viral transmission. The evidence, as of date, were mainly anecdotal reports included in newspaper articles and media interviews. We wanted to know if the virus can truly be found in tears, so we decided to embark on this study. (more…)
Author Interviews, Ophthalmology, Technology / 21.10.2019 Interview with: Louis R. Pasquale, MD Professor of Ophthalmology Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai; Site Chair of the Department of Ophthalmology at The Mount Sinai Hospital and Mount Sinai Queens; Vice Chair of Translational Ophthalmology Research Mount Sinai Health System What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Individual visual field tests provide a 52-point array of functional information about a glaucoma patient but it does not give us a handle on how functionally disabled they might be. A series of visual field tests need to be assessed for functional progression but current conventional algorithms for doing so are governed by ad hoc rules and the various algorithms available for assessing progression do not agree with one another. Finally, in managed care setting where one might be responsible for allocating resources for large numbers of glaucoma patients, it would be valuable to quickly visualize which patients are progressing rapidly and which ones are stable. This could allow for proper allocation of resources and perhaps inquiry into why a subset of patients are doing poorly. We wanted to develop an easy to use tool to quickly visualize how individual glaucoma patients and how groups of glaucoma patients are doing from a functional perspective. (more…)
Author Interviews, Ophthalmology / 14.10.2019 Interview with: Sumayya Ahmad, MD Assistant Professor of Ophthalmology Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai What is the background for this study? Response: The cornea is usually curved like a basketball or a globe. Roughly all of the edges are about equal distant from the center. With this shape, light enters the eye normally and the image is not distorted.  However, not all eyes are shaped that way. About 30% of eyes have  astigmatism, in which the cornea is shaped like a football, or elongated in one axis. If the longest diameter is up and down, we call that with the rule astigmatism, and if it is to the side, we call that against-the rule astigmatism. A lot of studies have been devoted to astigmatism over the years, but nobody has looked at it from a population perspective in the United States and tried to figure out the relationships it may have. Most studies are from one center or other country's databases, but not ours. The National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, or NHANES, is a survey composed in the United States each year that looks at a representative sample of people from across the country. It's a great way to study the relationship between the environment and people. We tried to look at demographic factors (like age, gender, race) and ocular factors related to against and with the rule astigmatism. (more…)