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Research Update #48

Welcome to Research Update, our monthly summary of important and interesting contact lens-related papers published in the peer-reviewed literature

This last issue of the year begins with two very different topics. The first paper details the gender wage gap in US optometry that remains after controlling for practice ownership, residency training, and employer-defined full-time work. The second discusses object-based learning to cultivate soft skills among optometry students.

We also report on the prevalence of ocular surface disease and corneal irregularity, and outcomes in patients using therapeutic scleral lenses. An Indian team attempts to answer the question: do visual performance and optical quality vary across different contact lens correction modalities in keratoconus?

Another study assesses the safety of soft contact wear in children. A Belgian team reviews the literature on age-related decrease in axial length. And finally, we include a paper that discusses conditions in the posterior segment associated with myopia, their features and management pathways.

Wishing you happy holidays and a very happy 2021!

The IACLE Education Team

JOURNALS

Journal reviewed in this issue:

Optometry and Vision Science  97:11
Eye & Contact Lens  46:6  
Contact Lens & Anterior Eye  43:6
Ophthalmic & Physiological Optics  Early view, 40:6
Clinical & Experimental Optometry 103:6

EQUALITY

The gender wage gap in optometry

To measure the gender wage gap by region and practice type for full-time optometrists who did not complete a residency and do not own their practice, Simpson et al administered an online survey to optometrists in the United States. Basic starting salaries and current salaries of 366 respondents were analyzed. The starting salary wage gap was 6.53%, and the current salary wage gap was 13.35% in favor of men. This information could be useful to those working to close the gender wage gap in the profession.

Optom Vis Sci 2020;97:11 970-977. Read the full text

EDUCATION

Cultivating soft skills – beyond a standard optometric curriculum

As optometrists need to be proficient in soft skills, Cham et al implemented Moore’s concept of creativity, and object-based learning, to develop students’ communication, interpersonal, and teamwork skills. Students from optometry, arts management and animation attended an autobiographical museum in interdisciplinary groups and examined an artifact relating to aspects of professionalism. Students’ experience of this activity was evaluated using a survey and thematic analysis of their reflective essays. Most students found this group work beneficial, enjoyable, helpful in critical self-reflection, and in future improvement of communication and interpersonal skills.

Optom Vis Sci 2020;97:11 962-969. Read the abstract

SCLERAL LENSES

Outcomes with therapeutic scleral lenses

Scanzera et al retrospectively reviewed 133 patients evaluated for scleral lenses to describe patient characteristics, indications for scleral lens evaluation, previous treatments, and outcomes of patients. The authors found that scleral lenses were an effective therapy in improving vision and decreasing corneal punctate keratopathy. Ocular surface disease was very common and was a primary or secondary indication for scleral lens evaluation in 85.7% of patients evaluated.

Eye & Contact Lens 2020;46:6 364-367. Read the abstract

KERATOCONUS

Visual and optical performance with different CL modalities

This prospective, cross-over study by Kumar et al evaluated the visual (high-contrast logMAR acuity, contrast sensitivity and stereoacuity) and optical (higher order wavefront aberrations) performance efficacy of four commercially available CL designs. Twenty-eight subjects with bilateral keratoconus and 10 control subjects participated in the study. There were no dramatic differences in the performance of the four CL designs tested (conventional RGP, Rose K2 GP, Kerasoft IC soft and scleral CLs). Non-visual factors such as quality of fit, wearing comfort and cost may therefore drive the choice of CL dispensed in keratoconus.

Cont Lens Anterior Eye 2020;43:6 568-576. Read the full text

SAFETY

Adverse events in paediatric soft CL wear: the ReCSS study

Chalmers et al investigated potential adverse events (AEs) in 963 children to ascertain the safety of soft contact lens (SCL) wear in children through a retrospective chart review that included real-world clinical practice settings and data from randomized, controlled clinical trials. The study found that the rate of microbial keratitis and of other inflammatory AEs in a cohort of SCL wearers from 8-16 years of age were comparable to established rates among adults wearing SCLs. The results help to answer parents’ and practitioners' concerns about the risk/benefit of real‐world SCL use in children and young teens.

Ophthalmic Physiol Opt 2020 Nov 11;10.1111/opo.12753. Read the full text

AXIAL LENGTH

Age-related axial length changes in adults

To investigate the origins of age-related decreases in ocular axial length in the literature, Rozema & Dhubhghaill reviewed 17 cross-sectional studies into axial length changes with age. These data were combined with mean body length and education level for the countries of each study to assess their influence in a multivariate analysis. The age-related decrease in axial length is mainly associated with gradual changes in increased body length and education level. This finding has implications for cataract and refractive surgery.

Ophthalmic Physiol Opt 2020;40:6 710-717. Read the abstract

MYOPIA

Posterior segment conditions in myopia

This review by Jagadeesh et al systematically addresses the posterior segment conditions seen in myopic eyes, describes the features associated with myopia and details management pathways. Most commonly, the posterior segment complications – ranging from a simple tessellation of the fundus to the more severe and complicated conditions, such as retinal detachment or choroidal neovascularisation – are observed in high myopia and in older individuals. Certain complications, such as retinal detachment, are observed in low myopia as well. The burden associated with these complications highlights the value in recognising them and adopting measures to prevent the risk of the eye becoming myopic or in those that are already myopic.  

Clin Exp Optom 2020;103:6 756-765. Read the full text

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