Florida Eye Institute Blog

Essential Sight Saving Treatments in the Midst of COVID Crisis

Patients with sight limiting diseases like Macular Degeneration know the importance of regular treatments to preserve existing vision. The most common treatments to slow vision loss from wet macular degeneration are anti-VEGF intravitreal injections. These drugs are considered the first-line treatment for all stages of wet macular degeneration and are typically scheduled every 4-6 weeks to maintain effectiveness. That all changed in the past month with the outbreak of COVID-19. Both the American Academy of Ophthalmology and CDC have advised limited medical office visits to minimize risk and exposure to the novel coronavirus for patients and staff. To accommodate the situation, Florida Eye Institute quickly prioritized procedures to continue providing care for their most vulnerable patient populations. “Continuing to treat vision-threatening illness is our top priority even under these difficult circumstances,” confirms Dr. Thomas Baudo, a fellowship-trained retina ophthalmologist at Florida Eye Institute. Retina specialists are frequently on the front lines of urgent care for sight limiting conditions like macular tears, detachments and macular degeneration. Victor Basile, Administrator for the multi-specialty practice adds, “We instituted policies as soon as the CDC recommendations came out. Whereas normally, we see hundreds of patients a day for glaucoma monitoring, corneal disease, cataract consultations

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NEW! FDA Treatment BEOVU for Wet Macular Degeneration

The Macular Degeneration and Diabetes Center of Florida Eye Institute offers the latest FDA approved Beovu injection for patients with wet macular degeneration. Wet AMD is the leading cause of severe vision loss and legal blindness for people over the age of 65. It’s estimated 1.75 million people in the U.S. will be living with wet AMD in 2020. Beovu was approved October 8, 2019 by the Food and Drug Administration and is the newest option to treat the potentially blinding effects of wet macular degeneration affecting nearly 1.75 million Americans over the age of sixty. In clinical trials, patients achieved greater visual gains and fluid reduction with quarterly dosing schedules of Beovu compared to other medications with 4-6-week injection timetables.  “I am excited about this latest advance to treat patients with macular degeneration” says Dr. Thomas Baudo, fellowship trained retina physician and surgeon with Florida Eye Institute in Vero Beach, FL. “Beovu was engineered to deliver a higher concentration of drug binding agents, suppressing the growth of abnormal blood vessels that leak excess fluid into the retina and cause visual distortion. It’s the first FDA approved medication to offer less frequent dosing in the first year while maintaining clinical

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Febuary is Macular Degeneration Awareness Month

Resolutions for Healthy Vision Don’t give up on those healthy New Year’s resolutions just yet! Numerous studies point to the importance of healthy habits in the prevention of eye disease. While it’s true that many conditions, like Glaucoma and Macular Degeneration, have a genetic component; a healthy lifestyle can significantly curtail, and even improve vision as we age. That’s especially important considering the risk for Macular Degeneration increases with age. The disease is most likely to occur in those 55 and older. Dr. Carl Kupfer, former Director of the National Eye Institute, National Institutes of Health, has stated that Macular Degeneration will soon reach alarming numbers of aging Baby Boomers. “As the Baby Boom generation ages, and in the absence of further prevention and treatment advances, AMD is estimated to reach epidemic proportions of 6.3 million Americans by the year 2030.” The causes of AMD are not fully understood, but it is associated with other risk factors besides aging. Macular Degeneration often runs in families due to a genetic component and is most common among families of European descent. Smoking DOUBLES the risk of AMD. Other risk factors include high blood pressure, cardiovascular disease, obesity and a diet high in

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