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Department of Ophthalmology News and Stories

Patient Care

Patient Care    Pediatric Ophthalmology

From the Discovery of Botox to Improving Surgery: The Evolution of Strabismus Treatment

Today, onabotulinumtoxinA is widely known for its cosmetic use to prevent wrinkles or unwanted aging, but the first uses of Botox – as it’s commonly called – are rooted in ophthalmology and strabismus treatment.


Author Kara Mason | Publish Date May 23, 2024
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Patient Care    Glaucoma

Series No. 2: Finding Solutions to Eye Drop Obstacles, From Aids to Novel Devices

While eye drops are often a helpful treatment mechanism that deliver necessary medications to the ocular surface, they can also present challenges for some patients.


Author Kara Mason | Publish Date May 01, 2024
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Patient Care    Glaucoma    Dry Eye

Series No. 1: How Eye Drops are Used to Treat Ocular Health Conditions

The number of people in the United States using eye drops once or more per day increased nearly 10% from 2011 to 2020. Experts expect this number to continue growing as more Americans age and develop ocular conditions treated with eye drops.


Author Kara Mason | Publish Date April 29, 2024
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Patient Care    Awareness    Dry Eye

Is Stress Worsening Your Dry Eye?

Long work hours, little sleep, a full inbox. Balancing work and a social life.


Author Kara Mason | Publish Date April 23, 2024
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Research    Patient Care    Pediatric Ophthalmology

Investigating Real-World Outcomes of Retinopathy of Prematurity Treatments  

In a forthcoming research paper, Anne Strong Caldwell, MD, a PGY-3 ophthalmology resident at the University of Colorado School of Medicine, finds that there is no significant difference in adverse outcomes between anti-vascular endothelial growth factor (anti-VEGF) treatments and laser treatments given to babies with retinopathy of prematurity (ROP) in a real-world setting.


Author Kara Mason | Publish Date April 16, 2024
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Patient Care    Inclusion

CU Eye Doctors Prioritize the Power of Name Pronunciation in Health Care

When Erin Major, OD, a pediatric optometrist in the Department of Ophthalmology at the University of Colorado School of Medicine, sees a patient at Children’s Hospital Colorado for the first time, she starts with a simple question: How do you say your name?


Author Kara Mason | Publish Date March 27, 2024
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Patient Care    Awareness    Autoimmune disease

New Diagnostic Criteria for MOGAD Distinguishes the Disease from MS and NMOSD

While there are many clinical commonalities among multiple sclerosis (MS), neuromyelitis optical spectrum disorder (NMOSD), and myelin oligodendrocyte glycoprotein antibody disease (MOGAD), researchers now agree that the three autoimmune disorders are distinct and warrant different diagnostic criteria.


Author Kara Mason | Publish Date March 19, 2024
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Research    Patient Care    Cataracts

Investigating Sex-Based Differences in Cataract Surgery

Men undergoing cataract surgery typically have more pre-operative comorbidities than women and face higher rates of some complications, according to a new study by faculty members in the Department of Ophthalmology at the University of Colorado School of Medicine.


Author Kara Mason | Publish Date March 07, 2024
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Patient Care    Awareness    Low Vision Rehabilitation

5 Ways to Support a Family Member Adjust to Living with Low Vision

In the low vision rehabilitation clinic at the Sue Anschutz-Rodgers Eye Center, specialists help patients regain some of their daily lives. Oftentimes, that means helping and educating caregivers, too. 


Author Kara Mason | Publish Date February 22, 2024
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Patient Care    Awareness    Drug Development

What is Retinitis Pigmentosa?

Retinitis pigmentosa (RP) can be described as an umbrella term, says Marc Mathias, MD, associate professor of ophthalmology and retina specialist at the Sue Anschutz-Rodgers Eye Center.


Author Kara Mason | Publish Date February 13, 2024
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Patient Care    Awareness    Diabetic retinopathy

Ocular Health: A Window Into the Heart

What’s good for the heart is generally good for ocular health.


Author Kara Mason | Publish Date February 06, 2024
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Patient Care    Awareness    Mental Health

Warning Signs and Treatment for Thyroid Eye Disease

Historically, there have been few treatment options for patients with active thyroid eye disease (TED), but new research and clinical trials are revealing a new horizon for managing the rare autoimmune disease that causes tissue behind the eye to become inflamed.


Author Kara Mason | Publish Date January 25, 2024
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Patient Care    Glaucoma

Healthy Lifestyle Changes To Help Fight Glaucoma

Being diagnosed with glaucoma is often a life-changing event. With no current cure, the disease, which results in damages to the optic nerve causing irreversible vision loss, is expected to affect up to 112 million people worldwide by 2040.


Author Kara Mason | Publish Date January 16, 2024
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Patient Care    Education    Community

CU Department of Ophthalmology Top Stories of 2023

It’s been another remarkable year full of noteworthy research, impressive innovation, and inspiring patient success stories for the Department of Ophthalmology.

The communications staff in the University of Colorado School of Medicine Dean’s Office covered a variety of stories from the Sue Anschutz-Rodgers Eye Center that captured the exceptional care, effort, and time faculty members, research staff, and trainees put in each day.


Author Kara Mason | Publish Date December 15, 2023
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Research    Patient Care    Artificial Intelligence (AI)

Can AI Chatbots Give Medical Advice As Accurate As Ophthalmologists?

It's not uncommon for patients to consult the internet with ocular symptoms before a physician, says Karen Christopher, MD, assistant professor in the Department of Ophthalmology at the University of Colorado School of Medicine.


Author Kara Mason | Publish Date October 03, 2023
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Innovation    Patient Care    Glaucoma

XEN Gel Stents: The Glaucoma Treatment Gaining Popularity

About once a month, Deidre St. Peter, MD, assistant professor of ophthalmology at the University of Colorado School of Medicine, performs a XEN Gel Stent surgery, implanting a tiny tube-like structure into the eye to reduce pressure and prevent vision loss associated with open-angle glaucoma.


Author Kara Mason | Publish Date September 19, 2023
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Patient Care    Drug Development

Evolving Thyroid Eye Disease Treatments Empower Patients

Daniel Ozzello, MD, assistant professor of ophthalmology at the University of Colorado School of Medicine, sometimes compares treating thyroid eye disease, an autoimmune disease that affects muscles and tissue behind the eye, to a flood.


Author Kara Mason | Publish Date September 12, 2023
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Patient Care    Drug Development    Retina    rare disease

CU Ophthalmologists Administer Novel Treatment for Single Patient Facing Rare Genetic Condition

Thirteen-year-old Grace Hoyt received potentially the best birthday gift ever this month when pediatric ophthalmologists at the University of Colorado School of Medicine and Children’s Hospital Colorado administered the first treatment designed specifically to slow her vision loss associated with posterior column ataxia with retinitis pigmentosa (PCARP), a rare genetic condition that affects vision and the nervous system.


Author Kara Mason | Publish Date September 06, 2023
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Patient Care    Awareness    Pediatric Cancer    Retina

From Beating Retinoblastoma to Batting with Big Leaguers

This summer, six-year-old Coleman Tawresey will go more than 12 consecutive weeks without a doctor’s appointment – something he hasn’t been able to do since being diagnosed with retinoblastoma when he was two.


Author Kara Mason | Publish Date August 07, 2023
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Patient Care    Pediatrics

New Tool in Epic Helps Track Eye Care for Premature Babies

Pediatric ophthalmologists now have a tool to help ensure babies with retinopathy of prematurity (ROP) are receiving necessary follow-up care as the eye condition evolves in the weeks and months after birth. 


Author Kara Mason | Publish Date August 01, 2023
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Patient Care    Awareness    Cancer

Retinoblastoma Survivor Looks to the Skies with Help from CU Ophthalmologist

Jack Schaef wants to fly as a pilot someday, but it might just be water that helps make that dream come true.


Author Kara Mason | Publish Date May 15, 2023
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Patient Care    Clinical Research

Stevens-Johnson Syndrome Survivor Set to Attend CU School of Medicine After Receiving Pioneering Treatment

While some of his grade school classmates looked up to famous athletes or television characters, Will Osier’s childhood superhero was his ophthalmologist. Now, more than 15 years later, Osier is set to attend the University of Colorado School of Medicine where his doctor pioneered a treatment that saved his vision.


Author Kara Mason | Publish Date April 25, 2023
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Patient Care    Advancement    Low Vision Rehabilitation

Removing Barriers from Low Vision Rehabilitation

Although vision impairments affect people of all ages and backgrounds, the cost of an initial low vision rehabilitation evaluation can prevent patients from getting the comprehensive care they need.


Author Rachel Wittel | Publish Date March 13, 2023
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Patient Care    Community    Advancement    Oculofacial Plastic & Orbital Surgery

Patient-Centered Care Inspires Award of Endowed Chair to Department of Ophthalmology Professor

Many patients have been touched by the compassionate care they receive at University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus. Sometimes, the families of these patients honor that care posthumously. Sophie Liao, MD, associate professor of ophthalmology at CU School of Medicine, was named the inaugural Robert H. Bell Endowed Chair in Ophthalmology in gratitude for the care she delivered to one such patient in 2021.


Author Toni Lapp | Publish Date February 10, 2023
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Patient Care    Education    Community    Students

CU Department of Ophthalmology Top Stories of 2022

As we close the books on 2022, it’s worth looking back to see how far we have come this year. The communications staff in the University of Colorado School of Medicine Dean’s Office covered a variety of stories from the Sue Anschutz-Rodgers Eye Center, from welcoming new faculty to sending off the next generation of eye doctors into the field, pioneering new treatments for blinding diseases, and winning recognition for groundbreaking research.


Author Department of Ophthalmology | Publish Date December 16, 2022
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Patient Care    Advancement    Autoimmune disease    Uveitis & Ocular Immunology

Sight-Saving Care Inspires Gift of Hope

Caleb Hebel was in his mid-30s, the prime of his life, with two active children and one on the way, when his mysterious ailment started. “I was go, go, go,” he recalls. “I played hockey, golf, and lifted weights. Our kids were involved in sports, so we were always going places.” On top of that, he was the chief financial officer of a real estate development company and principal of a family business.


Author Toni Lapp | Publish Date December 02, 2022
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Patient Care    Awareness    Cornea

Winter Weather Brings Risks of Snow Blindness

As winter weather moves into Colorado, so do health risks related to snow blindness. Whether you are hiking or snowshoeing at higher elevations, skiing, or skating on a frozen lake, you should protect your eyes from this condition, also known as photokeratitis.


Author Rachel Wittel | Publish Date November 04, 2022
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Patient Care    Clinical    Dry Eye

Sue Anschutz-Rodgers Eye Center Rolls Out Intense Pulsed Light Therapy for Dry Eye Disease

At first glance, dry eyes may seem like a minor complaint, but eye care providers at the Sue Anschutz-Rodgers Eye Center on the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus know that severe cases can be difficult to treat, often stemming from multiple factors. Left untreated, dry eye disease can impair vision and affect quality of life.


Author Toni Lapp | Publish Date October 10, 2022
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Patient Care    Dry Eye

Nasal Spray Provides a Novel Approach to Treatment of Dry Eyes

For over 20 years, 61-year-old Annette Sandoval struggled with dry eyes, a condition many Coloradans experience given the state’s arid climate. Allergies can also trigger dry eyes, as well as frequent computer use, medication side effects, and numerous health conditions. In many cases, the condition can significantly affect quality of life, as it did for Sandoval.


Author Toni Lapp | Publish Date September 09, 2022
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Patient Care    Education

Ophthalmic Assistant Academy Celebrates First Cohort Graduation

Looking for ways to introduce new ophthalmic technicians to a supportive career development path, the University of Colorado Department of Ophthalmology in partnership with UCHealth Sue Anschutz-Rodgers Eye Center created the Ophthalmic Assistant (OA) Academy, a clinical mentorship program.


Author Rachel Wittel | Publish Date August 17, 2022
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Patient Care    Pediatric Ophthalmology    Retina

First Telemedicine Service Launched in Colorado for Infants with Retinopathy of Prematurity

A new service in Colorado will strengthen care and comfort for infants with retinopathy of prematurity through a hybrid in-person and telemedicine approach. Many infants born prematurely face the risks of retinopathy of prematurity (ROP), a potentially blinding eye disease that occurs because blood vessels in the back of the eye are not fully developed and could grow abnormally after premature birth.


Author Rachel Wittel | Publish Date August 05, 2022
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Patient Care    Community    Cataracts

Veteran Gains Perfect Vision After Cataract Surgery

“You can’t hurt steel.”

Phil Cusimano means it, too. While fixing his roof a few months ago, the 74-year-old veteran fell through and onto his patio – getting right up with nothing but a scratch.

Cusimano is known for his strength, from excelling in track and field during his high school days to enlisting in 1967 to serve in the Vietnam War. His kryptonite seemed to be his eyes.


Author Rachel Wittel | Publish Date June 23, 2022
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Patient Care    Advancement    Cataracts    Glaucoma

Artist Gives Back After Sight-Saving Surgery

Philip Tarlow’s inspiration to pursue art was sparked at an early age. He recalls a kindergarten teacher noticing his fascination with construction workers, which ultimately became the subject matter of his creations 30 years later. 


Author Rachel Wittel | Publish Date April 13, 2022
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Patient Care    Awareness    Low Vision Rehabilitation

Driving Dreams Come True at Age 52

By the time Karre Wakefield’s friends and classmates turned 16 and got behind the wheel, she had accepted riding as only a passenger. Wakefield was born with hydrocephalus, or excess fluid in her brain, which damaged her optic nerve and rendered her ineligible for a driver’s license in the state of Colorado.


Author Rachel Wittel | Publish Date February 04, 2022
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Research    Patient Care    Awareness

Telemedicine Strengthens Glaucoma Diagnosis and Management

For more than a decade, Tom Poindexter managed his glaucoma with drops as routinely as brushing his teeth. Catching it early, he was diagnosed with open-angle glaucoma, the most common form, in his 50s.


Author Rachel Wittel | Publish Date January 14, 2022
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See Us In the News

American Academy of Ophthalmology

The Challenges of Vision Care in Alzheimer Disease Patients

news outletAmerican Academy of Ophthalmology
Publish DateJune 10, 2024

Victoria Pelak, MD, professor of ophthalmology and neurology at the University of Colorado School of Medicine, offers insights into how Alzheimer disease — and the drugs used to treat it — can affect eye health.

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Everyday Health

6 Tools to Help You Manage Low Vision From Geographic Atrophy

news outletEveryday Health
Publish DateJune 10, 2024

“If you have geographic atrophy, you may notice that you’re missing details,” says David Simpson, OD, an assistant professor of ophthalmology at the University of Colorado School of Medicine in Aurora. “You may notice that you aren’t looking directly at what you’re trying to see, but rather are looking off to the side.”

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JAMA Ophthalmology

Does Systemic Fluoroquinolone Use Increase Risk of Retinal Detachment?

news outletJAMA Ophthalmology
Publish DateJune 01, 2024

In a new paper, Alison Liu, MD, PhD, assistant research professor in the Department of Ophthalmology at the University of Colorado School of Medicine, investigates whether there is a connection between fluoroquinolone use and increased risk of retinal detachment. 

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USA Today

Liver, yes. Corneas, no. FDA urged to relax tissue donation ban for gay and bisexual men

news outletUSA Today
Publish DateMay 29, 2024

Michael Puente Jr., MD, assistant professor of ophthalmology at the University of Colorado School of Medicine, explains the patchwork of donor guidelines for gay men. “A gay man can donate their entire heart for transplant, but they cannot donate just the heart valve,” he says. “It’s essentially a categorical ban.”

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