2021: The Year of the Cornea?

Recent events indicate our profession may be shifting its focus to corneal disease in the coming year

It truly is a unique pleasure to be the guest editor for this, the third edition of Corneal Physician. As is the case with the topics covered in Retinal Physician and Glaucoma Physician, also from PentaVision, this publication, by virtue of its title, aims to address the real issues we corneal specialists face in our daily practices. And based on the events of 2020, I believe there’s a real possibility 2021 will be “the year of the cornea.”

If 2020 was “the year of COVID-19,” or maybe more appropriately “the lost year,” because we had all hoped to celebrate 2020 in an ophthalmic-centric way, 2021 may well be called “the year of the cornea.” We experienced a summer of record-breaking wildfires and intense pollen counts, which increased the recognition of the importance of diagnosing and effectively managing dry eye disease (DED), as it relates to visual health, and a number of new products are in the FDA pipeline to treat anterior segment conditions, from demodex to mucous deficiency, to goblet cell deficiency.

As 2020 nears its close and 2021 is on the horizon, I hope this issue of Corneal Physician serves as a launching pad for readying our practices for increased corneal care. With that said, this issue includes a deep dive into DED with the “Research Spotlight” column, written by Dr. Christopher Starr, on the ASCRS algorithm for treating DED; the “Product Spotlight” column on Cequa (cyclosporine ophthalmic solution 0.09%, Sun Pharmaceutical Industries, Inc.); an explanation of organized psychometrics in DED and the role of MDbackline software; as well as two articles, from Drs. Alice Epitropoulos and Greg Parkhurst, on cataract surgery in the context of DED and corneal disease, respectively. Additionally, oculoplastic specialist Dr. Daniel Garibaldi explores the surgical approaches to neurotrophic keratopathy; Dr. David Wallace provides his insights on corneal imaging; Dr. Eric Donnenfeld shares his wisdom on managing irregular astigmatism with new treatment options, using the excimer laser; Dr. Audrey Talley Rostov tackles new techniques with endothelial keratoplasty; and Drs. Elizabeth Viriya and Francis S. Mah provide an important update on the management of corneal ulcers.

I couldn’t be more excited to work with these esteemed authors, all truly leaders in our subspecialty, and I wish you and yours a fabulous 2021: The Year of the Cornea? CP