Drs. Alexander Eaton and Hussein Wafapoor of Retina Health Center recently presented new research being used to help identify new treatment options for retinal disorders. The physicians shared their findings to more than 25,000 attendees of the American Academy of Ophthalmology’s annual meeting held in Orlando in late October.

Eaton’s presentation focused on the identification of genetic markers that may predict a patient’s predisposition to steroid-induced glaucoma. Used to control inflammation following eye surgery and for a number of ocular conditions, steroid medications are one of the most commonly used eye medications. Development of glaucoma is one of the complications from the use of all types of steroids including those used as drops or inserted in and around the eye, taken orally or intravenously for any of a number of medical conditions.

“The use of pharmacogenomics to determine which patients will be the best candidates for a particular treatment is part of a growing trend called personalized medicine,” says Eaton.  “Retina Health Center is excited to be on the forefront of this technology, and believes its findings will have broad implications throughout the world.”

In addition to Eaton’s presentation, Wafapoor shared Retina Health Center’s ongoing research on the role that oxygen plays in the development of various retinal conditions. A minimally invasive procedure, the oxygen imaging system was developed at Retina Health Center and uses a camera system to record images of the retina. These images provide a wealth of information to help physicians and researchers better understand the role that oxygen plays in the development of a number of retinal disorders. Researchers at Retina Health Center are evaluating a number of conditions that the oxygen imaging system may be used to treat including diabetic retinopathy, macular degeneration, retinal, arterial and venous occlusions.

“Our study involved the analysis of oxygen measurements of 16 patients,” says Wafapoor. “By monitoring these values, we are gaining new understanding to help us better treat retinal vascular disease. This imaging may also have a role in improved diagnosis and the treatment of optic nerve disease.”

The Retina Health Center has been granted a provisional patent for the oxygen imaging system. Physicians at Retina Health Center were the first to use this advance technology on patients as part of a research protocol.

Retina Health Center was established in 2002 by Dr. Alexander M. Eaton, a long-time Southwest Florida resident who has been practicing ophthalmology in Lee and Collier counties since 1993. Dr. Eaton and Dr. Hussein Wafapoor of Retina Health Center are principal investigators for the Macular Degeneration Research Center, founded by Dr. Eaton, which has conducted numerous studies to prevent and treat macular degeneration. For more information on the latest studies or to make an appointment, call 239-337-3337 in Fort Myers or 239-793-5200 in Naples, or visit www.retinahealthcenter.com.