Texas Retina Associates’ Ashkan Abbey, MD, and Patrick D. Williams, MD, co-authored a recently published article titled “The Influence of Universal Face Mask Use on Endophthalmitis Risk After Intravitreal Anti-VEGF Injections During the COVID-19 Pandemic” in Ophthalmology, the journal of the American Academy of Ophthalmology.

About the Study
Anti-vascular endothelial growth factor (anti-VEGF) injections in the eye are routinely used for the treatment of many retinal diseases such as age-related macular degeneration (AMD), diabetic retinopathy and retinal vein occlusion. However, bacterial endophthalmitis, an infection in the eye, remains a potentially devastating complication.

With the emergence of the COVID-19 pandemic, routine use of face masks for patients and physicians during these intravitreal injections increased. This large, multi-center, retrospective study evaluated the impact of physician, ancillary staff, and patient face mask use on rates and outcomes of post-injection endophthalmitis.

Study Results/Conclusion
The study found that physician and patient face mask use during intravitreal anti-VEGF injections did not alter the risk of presumed acute-onset bacterial endophthalmitis, but there was a reduced rate of culture-positive endophthalmitis. Three months following presentation of the infection, there was no difference in visual acuity between the groups.

You can access the full abstract and article here.

About Dr. Abbey
Dr. Abbey cares for patients in our Dallas Main and Rockwall offices. He also serves as our Director of Clinical Research for Dallas. You can learn more about him here.

About Dr. Williams
Dr. Williams cares for patients in our Arlington, Fort Worth and Grapevine offices and serves as our Director of Clinical Research for Arlington. You can learn more about him here.