Dr. Alexander Eaton to speak at international retinal conference on new device to improve safety and comfort during eye injection treatments

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Retina Health Center Director Dr. Alexander Eaton will speak to ophthalmologists from around the world Dec. 6-7 at the Asia Pacific Vitreo-retina Society Congress in Japan on the development of a new device to improve the safety and comfort of patients during the administration of eye injections. Eaton will share results of clinical use of the Guarded Injection Device following clinical trials at Retina Health Center to evaluate the comfort and effectiveness of the device.

Recently developed by Retina Health Center in collaboration with other researchers, the guarded injection device incorporates a small gauge needle covered by a thin protective sleeve designed to protect the needle from contamination risks before and during the injection such as aerosolized saliva droplets from speech or breathing, as well as from the eyelashes or other external contaminants.

An estimated 10 million people worldwide receive eye injections every year. This number has increased considerably over the last few years and is expected to continue to increase in the foreseeable future. The most serious complication of intravitreal injections (IVIs) is endophthalmitis, with incidences of infection rates being reported between 0.02 percent and 0.87 percent. While the incidence of endophthalmitis following IVIs is low, the outcome tends to be poor.

“For patients with wet age related macular degeneration, retinal vascular occlusions, and diabetic retinopathy who undergo injections up to every four weeks, this device should help to reduce the burden both in terms of patient comfort, as well as to reduce the length of time for the injections,” said Eaton. “Experimental evidence also suggests it may help to reduce the risk of needle contamination and ultimately intraocular infections.”

This is the first of a number of products being developed by I-Tech JV Development Company which address issues with intravitreal injections to reach clinical trial.  By combining a team of retinal thought leaders and experienced device designers, the I-Tech JV Development Company is able to rapidly assess and develop products to meet evolving retina needs.

Retina Health Center and the Macular Degeneration Research Center were established in 2002 by Dr. Alexander M. Eaton, a long-time Southwest Florida resident who has been practicing ophthalmology in Lee and Collier counties for more than 17 years. Dr. Eaton has been the principal investigator for numerous studies to prevent and treat macular degeneration. For more information on the latest studies or to make an appointment, call 239-337-3337 in Fort Myers or 239-793-5200 in Naples, or visit www.retinahealthcenter.com.

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