Yet another reason to wear sunglasses.

New research out of Mass Eye and Ear found UVA light to be a contributing factor to Fuchs endothelial corneal dystrophy.

Give me some background on Fuchs.

Fuchs typically starts for patients between 50 and 60 years of age and is much more common in women than men. It is a leading cause of corneal transplantation worldwide, with an estimated 75% of transplant cases occurring in women.

We've got questions and theories.

After seeing hundreds of Fuchs patients, one of the researchers wondered why the scarring always occurs centrally, while the periphery is often clear and unaffected by disease. The central cornea receives the most amount of light, leading to the theory that UV light exposure may play a role in the disease.

Did they test this?

They did. The research team exposed the central cornea in adult mice to UVA light, and were able to induce the formation of Fuchs dystrophy.

Any ideas on why it's more common in women?

Yes, and it has to do with estrogen. The team discovered a pathway where UVA light causes increased expression of an enzyme that jumpstarts an estrogen metabolite pathway, which interacts with the DNA to damage endothelial cells. (via)


Can I get my diabetic retinal screening at the grocery store?

You can. The IDx-DR is making its way into Albertsons stores, including Acme Markets, Safeway, Shaw’s, Vons, and Carrs.

What is the IDx-DR?

It's an artificial intelligence diagnostic system FDA approved in 2018 that analyzes fundus photos to determine the presence of diabetic retinopathy. It’s the first medical device that provides both a screening and a follow-up plan without a doctor’s interpretation of the images.

How does it work?

Fundus photos are taken with a Topcon TRC-NW400 nonmydriatic retinal camera and the images are submitted to the IDx-DR software. If the image quality is good, the software provides a report in less than 1 minute with one of the two results below.
    1. More than mild retinopathy ➞ refer to an eye care provider.
    2. Negative for more than mild retinopathy ➞ rescreen in 1 year.

How accurate is the IDx-DR?

“It was able to correctly identify the presence of more than mild diabetic retinopathy 87.4% of the time and was able to correctly identify those patients who did not have more than mild diabetic retinopathy 89.5% of the time.” The clinical trial included photos from more than 900 patients.

Who can use this device?

Patients who are 22 years of age or older and who have not been previously diagnosed with diabetic retinopathy.


Want to know how much ODs make in each state?

Forbes has the complete list. If you're thinking of moving, you might want to head to North Dakota!


Jim SocksThis week I want to highlight Jim Socks, an optometrist-turned-CEO at Cornea Bioscience. His company is tackling the shortage of human donor corneas and has developed a safe, affordable, biocompatible replacement cornea for corneal transplants. According to the World Health Organization there are an estimated 10 million people in the world who are blind from corneal disease or injury and who cannot obtain corneal transplants because there isn’t enough human cornea tissue. Cornea Bioscience’s bioengineered cornea is a (partial) solution to that problem. The next (and last step) will be a short-term clinical study outside the United States. Keep up the great work, Jim!

I'll be traveling this week, so there won't be a Glance on Monday. I hope you enjoy a wonderful holiday!