San Diego County Optometric Society
The San Diego View
Inside this Issue:
- President’s Message
- Retina Corner
- Eye See
- CE Corner
- Boosting Your Practice’s Recovery And Long-Term Growth
- Volunteer Corner
- SDCOS Announcements
Dr. Wendy Gross
October marks the beginning of my favorite time of year, Fall. I hope everyone is enjoying their pumpkin and apple spiced desserts and treats as the weather starts to cool down in San Diego. The second Thursday of October is also a day when we recognize global eye health and preventable blindness on World Sight Day. This international day of awareness focuses attention on the global issue of eye health and is coordinated by the International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness (IAPB).
More than 75% of all blindness and moderate to severe vision impairment is avoidable, and World Sight Day provides a platform for organizations to encourage governments, corporations, institutions, and individuals to actively support universal access to eye health. The recent World Health Assembly resolution for eye health marks the next major milestone for global eye health. #HopeInSight was created to make eye care an integral part of Universal Health Coverage (UHC) and to implement ‘integrated people-centered eye care’.
So, what can we do to spread awareness? Here are some ideas:
- Photo competition: Take part in this International Photography Competition with the theme “Hope in Sight” and sub-theme “COVID-19 and eye health” by sending in photos that highlight the impact of eye health on people’s lives. You can visit photocomp.iapb.org for more information.
- Pledge: Ask your health official or key stakeholder to join you in pledging support for blindness prevention efforts and identify a list of activities you can do locally to help reduce avoidable blindness in your community.
- Eye Examination: Organize a chain – ask every customer who walks in for an eye exam to bring in two more customers and inform them of the importance of a comprehensive eye exam in reducing avoidable blindness from conditions such as cataracts, glaucoma, refractive error, and diabetic retinopathy.
- Social Media: Use the hashtags #WorldSightDay and #HopeInSight when posting on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and Instagram.
With your support, organizations such as these can continue their mission to reduce preventable blindness and vision impairment throughout the world and change the lives of so many. Have a happy and healthy October!
Harper and Next Generation Treatment Options for Geographic Atrophy
By Nikolas J.S. London, MD FACS
President and Director of Research, Retina Consultants San Diego
Chief of Ophthalmology, Scripps Memorial Hospital La Jolla
Hey SDCOS! While I know 2020 has been tough, I hope all of you are doing well – back seeing patients and back to some semblance of normalcy. Believe-it-or-not, I am actually busier than ever. My kids are great and in school, and we just got an amazing puppy – a Greater Swiss Mountain Dog (Swissy for short). She is the sweetest thing, and we’d definitely be up for a doggy play date if anyone is interested. I’ll put a picture of her below – try to not fall in love. We are also very busy at RCSD, and have a ton of fascinating clinical trials starting. Several of the more interesting ones involve gene therapy, where you use a viral vector to enable the eye to produce a protein that it does not normally produce. In this case, medication for a retinal disease. I have written about the RegenexBio studies previously, where the treatment causes the eye to produce ranibizumab (Lucentis) to treat wet AMD. Those are starting now, and we would be happy to see anyone you think might benefit. This month, however, I wanted to write about a gene therapy study for geographic atrophy from Gyroscope Therapeutics Limited. Particularly interesting to you, possibly, is that many of you could participate if you would like.
Taking a quick step back, as you know geographic atrophy (GA) is a form of advanced AMD characterized by progressive death of the RPE and overlying retina, and accounts for about 10% of severe vision loss associated with AMD. Unfortunately we have no treatment options for affected patients, and are resigned to simply watching them lose vision. Fortunately, however, the pathogenesis of GA is fairly well-understood, and we know that a dysfunctional complement cascade plays a central role. This is the target of most investigational therapies – inhibiting an overactive or dysregulated complement cascade. While several treatment options have tried and failed, gene therapy holds significant promise as it may enable permanent and constant production of a protein.
Gyroscope Therapeutics Limited is a biotechnology company out of London, England that focuses on gene therapies. They have a promising treatment option for GA secondary to AMD that uses a benign viral vector (AAV2) to elicit sustained production of complement factor I (CFI), which is an important down regulator of the alternative complement system. Some AMD patients are genetically-insufficient in CFI, and have a very high risk of advanced AMD, including GA formation. These patients are the initial target of this study – a small group of patients with a relatively rare genetic variant (CFI insufficiency). Enrolled patients would potentially receive the gene therapy as a subretinal injection, and would hopefully have a much lower risk of advanced AMD.
This is where you may come in, if you are interested. A significant initial part of the study involves screening patients with GA for this rare genetic variant. This involves a simple cheek swab or blood draw. We will be doing this for our GA patients, and if you are interested and see patients with GA, the Sponsor would like work with you as well, and would compensate you several hundred dollars per patient tested. I would be happy to put anyone interested in touch with them.
Well, I think that is about it for this month. Thanks so much for reading. Please don’t hesitate to contact me with any questions. And let me know about the doggy playdate!
Best wishes, and until next time,
Nikolas London, MD, FACS
Retina Consultants San Diego
written by Dr. Byron Y. Newman
STEADY ON YOUR FEET
Almost all of the articles I’ve ever read about dizziness, and related conditions, talk about what are the many causes of it, such as the article in AARP Magazine some years ago and the more recent article in the AOA’s FOCUS Magazine July-August 2020 issue.
The list of possible causes goes on and on, but it really works like this:
Your eyes lead the way. If they are disoriented in any way, from the long list, they signal the inner ear by telling them, “Hey, I’m disoriented.” So the inner ear responds by saying, “OK, then, I’ll make you dizzy.”
The causes are anything from head injuries, drugs, paretic eye muscles, and many other causes.
But, no one likes to discuss what to do about it. They just diagnose the cause and leave it hanging there.
It’s cured by optometrists who do vision therapy. That’s all there is to it.
I had a very interesting patient that I call The Case of the Dizzy Dutchman. He’d been dizzy for years, and his doctors were all scratching their heads. When he came to me, I set up a VT program, and in 6 weeks his dizziness was gone. I wrote it up and had it printed somewhere, and I got a letter from an OD who asked, “How can you cure an inner ear problem with VT?”
My answer was that the eyes were creating the problem by being disorienting.
So, here’s my advice: If you have a patient with dizziness, motion sickness, Munier’s disease, frequent migraines and headaches, send that patient to a person who does Vision Therapy; teach them pushups and rotations and near-far focusing. I had those printed out on an instruction sheets (a green prescription, is what that’s called) and many were helped just from that.
No patient is pleased if you just diagnose the cause, without a cure for their discomfort. Read below, and get your copy from Amazon. I’ve had my copy for years.
Dr. Roderic Gillilan, optometric physician, has researched, lectured, taught and authored articles about the SEE Sick Syndrome for many years. He is the discoverer of the syndrome and has personally trained and cured hundreds of SSS patients with the Dynamic Adaptive Vision Therapy techniques, which he developed.
Check out Dr. Newman’s website, www.thehumorfactory.com!!!
Boosting Your Practice’s Recovery And Long-Term Growth
By Justin Manning, OD, MPH, FAAO,
Executive VP, Professional Strategies, Healthy Eyes Advantage
When Healthy Eyes Advantage (HEA) began creating our Practice Booster programs early this year, we could not have foreseen how critically eye care practices would need a boost as 2020 unfolded. As originally envisioned, the HEA Practice Boosters were intended to offer independent eye care professionals (IECPs) opportunities to expand their scope of services and outreach. In this most unconventional year, however, these tools can expedite your practice’s recovery and set the stage for long-term growth.
HEA’s new Practice Boosters are designed to provide IECPs with a simplified approach to growing their practices by leveraging new technology, new services and new methods for increasing revenue through practice diversification and differentiation. Each HEA Practice Booster strategically combines unique vendor partners within a specific practice niche to create new revenue opportunities through a broader service scope or other practice enhancements. The first HEA Practice Booster, available now, supports IECPs in establishing a sub-specialty for treating patients at risk for or with age-related macular degeneration (AMD). Two additional Practice Boosters — Innovative Technology and Medical Software Essentials — will follow later this year, with more to be added in 2021.
Age-Related Macular Degeneration Presents Enormous Opportunity For IECPs
The current and growing prevalence of AMD in the United States presents the perfect opportunity for IECPs looking to establish and expand their medical sub-specialties, and that’s where HEA’s AMD Practice Booster comes in.
The 16-page digital resource guide for this Booster illustrates not only how enhancing AMD care directly benefits the patient but also how it can drive significant revenue growth. Adding just one additional AMD patient per week can add approximately $65,000 to annual revenue through retinal imaging, dark adaptation testing and sales of nutraceuticals and blue light lenses.
The second Practice Booster — Innovative Technology — coming later this year, includes cutting-edge and emerging technologies that help IECPs support clinical decision-making, introduce new and in-demand testing and services, improve patient flow and access, allow patients to access care outside of traditional office visits, and more. Each component of this Booster will help raise the bar for care delivery and move beyond the traditional service offerings to help patients see clearly and live better.
The third Practice Booster, Medical Software Essentials, also to be introduced later this year, will support IECP practices in becoming fully outfitted to drive medical revenue growth. This Booster goes beyond supporting clinical decision-making. It focuses on ensuring the most comprehensive and efficient technology infrastructure for smooth and fast communications that allows for insurance verification and billing, documentation, as well as managing accounts receivables and HIPAA compliance, all designed to improve efficiency, reduce headaches, and accelerate reimbursement.
To learn more about HEA’s Practice Booster programs, call Dave Halverson, HEA Solutions Specialist for Southern California, at 951.532.4493 and download a copy of the AMD Practice Booster resource guide HERE.
We are committed to helping you fulfill your CE requirements through our local meeting with the support of our sponsors!
Featured Annual Sponsors
This webinar qualifies as “live” CE for CA licensing requirements
Speakers: Susan A. Cotter, OD
Topics: Adult Strabismus
Date: October 22, 2020
Webinar ID: 816 7831 1508
Free for SDCOS members
$35 for COA/AOA Members
$130 for Non-members
Free for Students
Free for Sponsors
To Join the Webinar
Join from a PC, Mac, iPad, iPhone, or Android device:
Please click this URL to join.
Participants must be signed into the virtual meeting for the full presentation time to receive a certificate. If this is your first time using Zoom and you are having difficulty with log-in, please feel to contact our administrative director, Nancy-Jo, at email@example.com for assistance.
PRACTICE FOR SALE: North County “Carlsbad” upscale high-end practice. Owner at the same location over 30 years, boasts a strong net with easy hours. Great visibility location within high traffic Vons Center, theatres, library, great restaurants, great tenant mix. Office current remodeled with glass showcases, LED lighting, granite countertops, designer wallpaper, light wood floors. Updated equipment in the exam and pretest room with blue tooth transfer. Great opportunity to own a modern practice and be independent with much room for continued practice growth. Call Howard Levy, OD 760-310-8492 or email firstname.lastname@example.org “PRICED TOO SELL! (09/20)
Dr. John Fitzpatrick, the Society Optometrist Relations Liaison, offers a unique service to the San Diego Optometric community. Several lists are kept on file for doctors seeking the following, or any combination: • full-time work • part-time work • fill-in work • purchase a practice • sell a practice • partner in a practice. There is no charge for this service. To put your name on the list, please contact Dr. John Fitzpatrick at email@example.com
Monarch School Screening
Lion’s Optometric Vision Clinic
ALL DOCTORS WILL RECEIVE A FREE 5 HOUR CE FOR EVERY SHIFT FOR WHICH THEY VOLUNTEER
VOLUNTEER DOCTORS needed for flexible shifts throughout the year. 9-1:00 pm. Monday -Friday 1805 Upas St San Diego, CA 92103. Can’t volunteer at the clinic? See patients in your office. Call 619-298-5273.
Please bring to a CE meeting or contact the society office at 619-663-8439 for arrangements to pick up.
SDCOS keeps a list of all doctors willing to speak in front of groups about various topics, do home visits for patients, and assist in student mentoring. ODs interested in the Speakers Bureau, Home Visits, Student mentoring, and Low Vision OD’s, please contact the society office at 619-663-8439 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
- Click here for most recent SDCOS Board Meeting Minutes
- Click here for the 2020 CE schedule!
- Click here for COA membership benefits!
Welcome, new members!!
- February – Heawon Kim
- April – Emily Thai
- June – Laura Chen
- June – Janel Mallari
- June – Maryam Mehrzad
- June – Alyssa Pack
- June – Wilson Phu
- June – Christine Thiem
- July – Faria Islam
- July – Ioana Swikard
- August – Herrick Duong
- August – Mashal Hamidy
- August – Tina Khieu
- August – Dominique Lam
- August – Lauren Monsanto
- August – Connie Tan
- September – Ananya Jalsingh
Please update your information on www.eyehelp.org
Phone: 619 663 8439
Fax: 800 643 8301