CLINICAL CORNER – FEBRUARY 2010

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TORIC LENS ORIENTATION AND VISUAL ACUITY. Twenty subjects participated in a study to evaluate and compare the effect of gravity and gaze direction on toric lens orientation and visual acuity. The research, sponsored by VISTAKON®, a division of Johnson & Johnson Vision Care, Inc., compared the orientation characteristics of soft toric contact lenses using either an Accelerated Stabilization Design or Prism Ballast Design. The study concluded that toric soft contact lens designs do affect lens reorientation and gravity-induced rotation.

VITAMIN C IN AGE-RELATED CATARACTS. High-dose vitamin C supplement use (about 1000mg) increased the risk of cataracts by 38% among women aged 65 and up in a study conducted by Sweden’s Karolinska Institutet and the Department of Ophthalmology, Sundsvall Hospital. Vitamin C use among hormone replacement therapy users was associated with an even greater risk of cataracts.

SMOKING AND ALCOHOL ASSOCIATION WITH AMD. With the help of 1,958 women, The Study of Osteoporotic Fractures Research Group used stereoscopic fundus photographs to find that alcohol consumption was significantly associated with an elevated risk of incident early age-related macular degeneration (AMD). There was also an increased risk of early AMD among subjects aged 80 or older who smoke compared to those younger than 80 who were non-smokers.

DIABETIC RETINOPATHY RISK FACTORS. A study funded by the National Eye Institute and Research to Prevent Blindness found that among the 469 African-American patients with type 1 diabetes, total caloric intake was significantly associated with vision-threatening diabetic retinopathy (either proliferative diabetic retinopathy or macular edema) and of severe hard exudates. High sodium intake was a risk factor for macular edema. Researchers concluded that high caloric and sodium intakes are significant and independent risk factors for progression to severe forms of diabetic retinopathy in these patients.

AMD PREVENTION WITH OMEGA-3S. The National Eye Institute investigated progression to advanced AMD in 1,837 people at moderate-to-high risk of this condition. Participants who reported the highest omega-3 long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids (LCPUFAs) intake were 30% less likely to develop geographic atrophy (CGA) and neovascular (NV) AMD. The study concluded that the incidence of CGA and NV AMD in participants at moderate-to-high risk was lowest for those reporting the highest consumption of omega-3 LCPUFAs.

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