Dr. Ashish Sharma Makes Presentation at National Retina Specialists Meeting

FORT MYERS, FLA., September 16, 2013

Dr. Ashish G. Sharma of Retina Consultants of Southwest Florida was one of the speakers at the American Society of Retina Specialists annual meeting in Toronto in August.

More than 1,000 retina specialists from all over the world attended the conference to learn about the latest advances in the treatment of eye disease, such as Age-Related Macular Degeneration (AMD), from Dr. Sharma and other experts.

AMD is the leading cause of legal blindness among people ages 50 and older in the western world. “Wet” AMD occurs when abnormal blood vessels grow under the retina in the macula, the part of the eye that is responsible for central vision.

Dr. Sharma presented the use of aflibercept (Eylea®) on patients with complicated wet AMD cases. Eylea® is one of the newer treatments for wet AMD approved by the FDA last year that can reduce the swelling and persistent bleeding that some patients experience with other options.

The study included 80 patients with complicated cases of wet AMD that had persistent macular edema despite multiple previous treatments. The study showed that approximately 40 percent of patients showed resolution of swelling and improved vision with aflibercept therapy followed for more than one year.

Dr. Sharma said Retina Consultants tested 80 patients and that the average patient received 19 injections.

Dr. Sharma said the latest results have optimistic implications for the treatment of Southwest Florida senior citizens with AMD and offers hope to patients with vision-threatening persistent wet AMD.

“Wet Macular Degeneration is not a ‘one-size-fits-all’ disease, so it is important to have several treatment options to try, especially for those patients with a persistent problem that requires multiple injections,” he said.

Retina Consultants of Southwest Florida and its research facility, the National Ophthalmic Research Institute, have also participated in multiple clinical trials testing Eylea®, manufactured by Regeneron Pharmaceuticals, Inc. Usage of Eylea® is not limited to wet AMD. Other retinal diseases that may benefit from Eylea® injections include diabetic retinopathy, central retinal vein occlusions, and branch retinal vein occlusions.

Retina Consultants of Southwest Florida is the most experienced team of retina specialists in Southwest Florida with combined experience of more than 100 years. Offices are conveniently located in Fort Myers, Cape Coral, Bonita Springs, Naples and Port Charlotte.

Doctors with Retina Consultants of Southwest Florida are Fellows of the American College of Surgeons, members of the American Society of Retina Specialists, American Academy of Ophthalmology, The Schepens Eye Research Institute/Massachusetts Eye and Ear, an affiliate of Harvard Medical School, and the American Medical Association.

Retina Consultants of Southwest Florida offers all FDA-approved therapies for retina eye disease and is a leader in clinical research through the National Ophthalmic Research Institute (NORI), including clinical trials funded by the National Eye Institute, The Schepens Eye Research Institute│Massachusetts Eye and Ear, an affiliate of Harvard Medical School, and other public and private medical research foundations.

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