Ophthalmology has advanced dramatically over the past decades through many small advances that have allowed vision problems to impact in an increasingly negative way on the quality of life of people. Of all of them, we must highlight the intraocular injection drugs that allow the successful treatment of many pathologies that previously required surgery and that constitute the great leap in the treatment of current retinal diseases and in the coming years.
Regarding surgery, one of the most important advances has come from the different types of laser to assist an increasingly large number of operations. A paradigmatic case is that of the femtosecond laser , which, in recent years, has been decisively incorporated into refractive surgery and, since just a few months ago, cataract surgery has been improving a lot.. The result of this and other surgical advances is that, today, we have an increasingly precise and minimal incision surgery, this improves the visual results and, in addition, allows a faster recovery of patients. In any case, however much technology advances, it does not replace knowledge, the first weapon we must have for a good treatment.
Another key to the future is genetic research , to discover the molecular basis of different eye diseases, gene therapies, which will become a reality, in a few years, the development of slow-release intraocular drugs and, more long-term, the electrical stimulator of the retina in blind patients. These are the most immediate challenges, but the great revolution, which has already begun, must take place in the way we understand health: we must move towards a model that gives much greater importance to prevention.
Research and prevention are, from my point of view, the two major challenges and, therefore, we wanted them to be two pillars of the IMO Foundation, promoted two years ago by a group of IMO specialists. Through it, we are working intensely on prevention, in informing the population about what it must do to avoid certain eye diseases or, at least, to delay them or improve their prognosis.
In this line, healthy habits and periodic reviews are the two major messages on which our preventive policy is based. It is necessary to transmit this information to the entire population, especially to risk groups and to the whole of the medical community, to count on their collaboration and complicity.