Studying Optometry? Here’s the Latest in the Field


  • Studying optometry includes learning about the latest developments in eye treatments and technological advancements. 
  • Optometry students can participate in the AOA and AOSA Optometry’s Meeting to connect with other students and learn about travel opportunities. 
  • Staying current on optometric advancements can help you provide excellent care when you start treating your own patients.

If you’re studying optometry, it’s essential to have a comprehensive understanding of eye disease treatment and patient care. Staying up to date with recent technological advancements and studies is critical to providing a range of treatment options for eye diseases like age-related macular degeneration (AMD) and glaucoma.

By staying informed about the latest optometry eye treatments and breakthrough studies, you can better equip yourself to assist your future patients.

New Industry Insights for Optometry Students

Recent drug approvals, new technologies, and other potential treatment options like exercise are crucial knowledge for optometry students. These advancements in optometry can help students provide the most up-to-date and effective care to their future patients, which is essential for promoting better eye health and positive outcomes.

Physical Activity May Prevent Eye Diseases, Including AMD

Exercise may help prevent certain eye diseases like age-related macular degeneration (AMD) and glaucoma. A 2020 study found that exercise-trained mice showed a 45% reduction in choroidal neovascularization (CNV) volume compared to sedentary mice. A replication of the study reported a decrease in CNV by 32% in exercise-trained mice. Based on these studies, exercise reduced the volume of CNV by 41%.

implantable telescope at work

New Implantable Miniature Telescope Under Clinical Trial to Help People With AMD

Implantable miniature telescopes (IMTs) have been helping patients with late-stage AMD improve their vision since the FDA approved them in 2010. Previous clinical studies found 59.5% of patients with IMTs had a three-line improvement in visual acuity after two years of treatment.

A new technology called the Smaller-Incision New-Generation Implantable Miniature Telescope (SING IMT) was approved for use in the European Union in 2020. Researchers achieved a lower rate of ECD loss of 10.4% after three months using the SING IMT, compared to the IMT with a 20% ECD loss in the same period.

This reduction in ECD loss is because of the improvements in the SING IMT’s design and surgical procedures. The SING IMT has a smaller diameter, needs fewer sutures, and has increased postoperative corneal clearance compared to the IMT, reducing endothelial cell density (ECD) loss rates.

Common Genetic Factors Linked Between COVID-19 and AMD

A 2022 study found common genetic risk factors between COVID-19 and age-related macular degeneration (AMD). Researchers looked for genetic variations associated with AMD and COVID-19 infection in the genome. They found a gene that codes for a growth factor involved in blood vessel development linked to both diseases. This growth factor is vital in forming new blood vessels in AMD.

The findings support previous studies proving that people with AMD are more likely to contract COVID-19 and suffer severe symptoms.

Revolutionary Contact Lens Prototype Uses Microchannels to Prevent Dry Eye Disease

The Terasaki Institute for Biomedical Innovation has developed a prototype contact lens that could help prevent dry eye disease. The prototype contact lens contains microchannels that deliver tears from the pre-lens tear film to the post-lens ocular surface, reducing and preventing contact lens-induced dry eyes. The institute emphasized that further experiments are necessary to see if this technology is effective for patients.

Sitting for Long Periods Linked to Higher Risk of Dry Eye Disease

A 2023 Dutch study of 48,418 people indicated that spending long periods sitting down increases the risk of dry eye disease. However, when the study excluded computer-intensive sitting, the link between sedentary behavior and clinical diagnosis of dry eye disease was no longer significant. People who sit for long periods can reduce their risk of dry eye disease by increasing their physical activity level.

New Drug Applications Approved by FDA

The FDA approved new drug applications for treating presbyopia and geographic atrophy resulting from AMD:

  • Low-dose pilocarpine hydrochloride eye drops:  Orasis Pharmaceuticals has received approval for low-dose pilocarpine hydrochloride 0.4% (CSF-1) eye drop for the treatment of presbyopia. The FDA’s approval came after two clinical trials involving over 600 patients. The trials demonstrated a significant improvement in distance-corrected visual acuity without any visual loss in distance.
  • Pegcetaplan: Based on two-year studies, the FDA approved pegcetacoplan to treat geographic atrophy (GA) resulting from age-related macular degeneration (AMD). The studies provided consistent and robust data on the efficacy of monthly and every-other-month pegcetacoplan treatment for treating GA.

Technological Advances Help Optimize Eye Exams

As an optometry student, you should understand current technologies and how they can help you optimize future eye exams. For example, wavefront aberrometry and corneal topography can accurately analyze each patient’s cornea’s biomechanical structure and choose the right refractive action.

You can use a Scheimpflug camera system to record high-frame-rate videos of corneal deformation. This objective image analytic software will allow you to assess corneal strength and eye disease risk factors.

There has been a significant improvement in retinal imaging with the introduction of precise Optomap imaging. The Optos Optomap Daytona Panoramic 200Tx captures 82% of the retina in a wide-field image. The broader image identifies eye diseases and documents retinal records for each patient. A 2020 study of Optomap images concluded that the Optomap 200TX detected 78.1% of peripheral lesions in the patient’s eyes.

students listening to a lecture

Latest Career News for Those Studying Optometry

If you are an optometry student and want to kick start your career, consider attending the Optometry’s Meeting held by the American Optometric Association (AOA) and American Optometric Student Association (AOSA).

The event will take place in June 2023 in Washington, D.C., for optometry students, new doctors up to 5 years post graduation, and optometry faculty members. This meeting offers networking opportunities, mentorship, and continuing education seminars to develop optometry knowledge and leadership skills.

Up to 3,000 travel grants are available to help cover the registration and travel expenses to the Optometry’s Meeting. Faculty members and new doctors who graduated between 2018 and 2022 can apply for travel grants.

Students receive a regional travel grant of $200, $300, or $400, depending on their school’s location. They also have lodging within the AOA’s housing block for Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday of the Optometry Meeting for a savings of more than $1,000.

Explore Technological Innovations in Optometry with RevolutionEHR

Studying optometry opens up a world of medical advancements and educational opportunities. When you start your own optometry practice, use a cloud-based optometry practice management software to streamline your workflow and stay current with the latest trends in optometry.

Understanding technological innovations and using modern EHR software can help you as a future optometrist elevate your practice and provide better patient care.

Request a demo to explore how RevolutionEHR allows you the freedom to focus on delivering the best patient experience.

a new vision for your optometry practice