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    What ophthalmologists are thankful for

    The 5 greatest ophthalmic innovations of the 21st century


    1. Anti-VEGF (vascular endothelial growth factor) medications         

    Hands down, the greatest innovation of our new century so far has to be anti-VEGF medications (Eylea, Lucentis, Avastin). These medications have had profound effects on patients with not only exudative age-related macular degeneration (wAMD) and diabetic macular edema (DME), but has demonstrated efficacy in retinopathy of prematurity (ROP) as well.

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    One would be hard pressed to find any other treatment since the turn of the century that has completely altered the prognostic course of such a prevalent condition like wAMD; a dramatic turn of events from essentially a few minimally effective treatments prior to the introduction of anti-VEGF to present day with medications that can preserve/improve vision significantly. The effects of this revolutionary treatment modality have already become generational.or example, some wAMD patients currently being treated with anti-VEGF medications have parents who lived in a time without the availability of this treatment. These patients continually acknowledge how lucky they are to live in a time like this and that’s why it made #1 on our list.

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    There you have it, our top 5 innovations in ophthalmology of the 21st century. Sure, your list might be different and there are other innovations that could have made the list, but this list represents significant advancements in the field of ophthalmology. So, when you are having Thanksgiving dinner this year, make sure to include an extra toast in honor of the great ophthalmological innovations of our time!

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    1)      Apple DJ, Sims J. Harold Ridley and the invention of the intraocular lens. Surv Ophthalmol. 1996;40:279–292.

    2)      http://www.practicefusion.com/blog/ehr-adoption-rates

    3)      Zysk AM et al. Optical coherence tomography: a review of clinical development from bench to bedside. J Biomed Opt. 2007 Sep-Oct;12(5):051403.


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    Joshua Mali, MD
    Joshua Mali, MD, is a vitreoretinal surgeon at The Eye Associates, a private multispecialty ophthalmology practice in Sarasota, Florida.

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