Early and accurate diagnosis of retinal diseases presents a key challenge for ophthalmologists, with no standardized guidelines on the correct assessment methods to employ. The Vision Academy aims to provide guidance on these topics via its consensus statements, particularly on the following topics:
- Additional measures of visual function beyond acuity
- The role of OCT-A in retinal disease management
- Monitoring of the fellow eye in nAMD
- Principles of a diabetic retinopathy screening program
Additional measures of visual function beyond acuity
Measuring visual acuity alone is inadequate to fully assess visual function impairments, patient outcomes, and treatment responses. The Vision Academy aims to raise awareness of visual function impairments in patients with retinal diseases, such as age-related macular degeneration (AMD), diabetic retinopathy (DR), and diabetic macular edema.
The role of OCT-A in retinal disease management
The technique of optical coherence tomography angiography (OCT-A) is in clinical use around the world. However, the technology is advancing much faster than the community’s understanding of, and experience with, the technique. The Vision Academy aims to raise awareness and provide guidance to the ophthalmic community on the current limitations and potential pitfalls of OCT-A.
Monitoring of the fellow eye in nAMD
In neovascular AMD (nAMD), early detection of disease is crucial in order to preserve visual function, and the presence of nAMD in one eye is a major risk factor for the development of nAMD in the fellow eye. Despite readily available imaging techniques to detect choroidal neovascularization (CNV) lesions, many patients have already experienced decreased visual acuity by the time CNV lesions are detected in the fellow eye. To prevent disease progression to bilateral vision loss and preserve patient visual function and quality of life, regular monitoring of nAMD in both eyes of patients with unilateral disease should be considered standard of care in order to ensure timely intervention and prevention of vision loss.
A recently published Vision Academy review article in Retina discusses the rationale and importance of fellow-eye monitoring in at-risk patients with unilateral nAMD. It provides an overview of the current concepts and modalities for fellow-eye monitoring, describing the advantages and limitations of current clinic- and home-based detection methods, as well as providing expert recommendations for monitoring the fellow eye in patients with unilateral nAMD.
Principles of a diabetic retinopathy screening program
Diabetic retinopathy is the leading cause of blindness among working-age adults worldwide, so its early detection through appropriate screening is vitally important to help preserve vision in individuals with diabetes. The Vision Academy aims to communicate the latest evidence and best practice on DR screening.