Update on eye care issues in veterans

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


Purpose: To review eye care issues important to veterans and describe ongoing research activities in the Miami Veterans Affairs Medical Center (VAMC) eye clinic department. Methods: Review of pertinent literature and update on Miami VAMC research activities with regards to dry eye syndrome, cataract, age related macular degeneration, diabetic retinopathy, and glaucoma. Results: Dry eye syndrome (DES) is an important cause of ocular morbidity in the general population. Recent research has demonstrated that DES is prevalent in veterans as well, and that several diseases common in veterans (i.e. post traumatic stress disorder, depression) are risk factors for DES. Furthermore, DES-associated symptoms have been shown to affect emotional and physical functioning in this population. We are currently conducting research on the role of nutrition and hormones on DES in the veteran population. Cataract surgery is the most commonly performed ophthalmic surgery. There have been recent advances in the approach to cataract surgery with regards to astigmatism and presbyopia management. The Miami VAMC provides the latest lens options to veterans and continuously monitors and reports on surgical outcomes to ensure safety and functionality after surgery. Age related macular degeneration (ARMD) is a commonly seen retinal disorder in elderly veterans. The current standard of treatment is injection of medications into the eye. The Miami VAMC strives to improve patient comfort and safety during these monthly treatments. A randomized clinical trial comparing liquid lidocaine versus lidocaine gel found that both preparations were well tolerated among veterans. Recently the Miami VAMC took leadership in writing an intravitreal injection Standard Operating protocol for the VA nationally. Macular edema is an important cause of vision loss in diabetic patients. Recent research at the Miami VAMC demonstrated favorable outcomes after cataract surgery in patients with diabetics, with no progression of macular edema after surgery. Glaucoma is an important cause of visual impairment in older individuals. The Miami VAMC utilizes tele-retinal imaging to screen patients in the primary care setting and refers individuals suspected of having glaucoma for a complete ocular evaluation. Research on disease pathophysiology has found reduced Krebs cycle enzyme activity and altered lysosomal enzymes in patients with glaucoma. Conclusion: Eye conditions common in the general population are also important in veterans. The Miami VA has an active research program that conducts research on DES, cataract, ARMD, diabetic retinopathy, and glaucoma as they pertain to veteran health.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationVeterans
Subtitle of host publicationHealth Issues, Coping Strategies and Benefits
PublisherNova Science Publishers, Inc.
Number of pages20
ISBN (Print)9781620812686
StatePublished - Mar 1 2012

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)
  • Social Sciences(all)


Dive into the research topics of 'Update on eye care issues in veterans'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this