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Practical Approach to Glaucoma: Case-based

Sowka, Joseph OD, FAAO

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Optometry and Vision Science: June 2022 - Volume 99 - Issue 6 - p 544
doi: 10.1097/OPX.0000000000001903
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 Practical Approach to Glaucoma: Case-based by Ramanjit Sihota well lives up to its title and purpose. Professor Sihota (along with collaborators Dewang Angmo, Jyoti Shakrawal, Ajay Sharma, and Talvir Sidhu) set out to use the coronavirus pandemic and subsequent “work at home” policy to create a work that allows clinicians a better, yet practical, understanding of glaucoma and its attendant challenges.

Professor Sihota identifies the purpose of her writing to help ophthalmologists understand glaucoma, learn best practices, avoid ambiguities, recognize glaucoma suspects and glaucoma patients, and be able to take appropriate actions. After reading this book, I feel that she has met her goals. Because of her practice location, she tends to emphasize (perhaps overly so) glaucoma in the Indian population. Nevertheless, the information was, in fact, universal to all people who suffer from glaucoma. I recognize her experience and the value of sharing this experience from her unique clinical perspective. Because most of the information clearly applies universally to glaucoma and glaucoma patients worldwide, this book will be useful for a wide audience.

Although Professor Sihota states that she is writing to help ophthalmologists understand glaucoma, I would have been personally heartened if she had included other professions such as optometrists, who provide significant care of glaucoma patients in many nations. This book should not be considered solely for ophthalmologists, although that may be the largest audience. This book is ideal for comprehensive ophthalmologists, optometrists, ophthalmology residents, and optometry students and residents who have a direct connection with glaucoma patients. I also believe that experienced glaucoma specialists would also find the book helpful as Professor Sihota discusses numerous diagnostic technologies and therapeutic interventions to which few outside the academic setting would have such broad exposure. Although experienced practitioners may use threshold perimetry and optical coherence tomography extensively, many would be hard-pressed to explain the fundamental details of parameters on a visual field report or the limitations or a normative database as detailed in this text.

The book is a professionally published hardcover text with 354 glossy pages. It is clear and well written. It is a handsome, well-illustrated book that looks impressive and fits well on a bookshelf.

There are a few typographical errors, but they are hardly noticed. There are some inconsistencies in terminology, likely because of others' contributions. One such example is the discussion of disc pallor in nonglaucomatous optic neuropathy, but it mentions disc pallor in glaucoma (which is not a feature of that disease).

The book is expansive and covers optic disc appearance, pathophysiology, primary and secondary glaucoma, angle closure, medicines, diagnostic technologies, pediatric glaucoma, progression, and therapeutic interventions, to name a few. The broad approach limits the depth that can be explored on any topic in 354 pages, but this also makes the book very readable and does not get bogged down in the weeds. There is additional suggested reading to accompany each chapter for the reader who is inclined to delve deeper into specific topics.

Although the writing is crisp, concise, and accurate, the strength lies in its examples and illustrations. The graphics are exceptional. There are numerous clinical photographs that are clear and very demonstrative. The figure captions aligning with the illustrations are as illuminating as the chapter text. The text provides necessary underlying information, but the figures and captions bring the book to life. There are numerous tables and flowcharts that guide the reader in clinical thinking. These graphics provide great clarity to those who study and care for patients with glaucoma. At the end of each chapter, there are illustrative case examples to ground the material and make it relatable to the reader.

Practical Approach to Glaucoma: Case-based is a nice addition to the glaucoma literature. It is beautifully illustrated, clear, concise, accurate, and agreeable to the glaucoma cognoscenti and takes the reader through this diverse group of conditions on an easy-to-understand journey. It is ideal for ophthalmologists, optometrists, optometry students and residents, and ophthalmology residents. It is a welcome addition to my glaucoma library.

Joseph Sowka, OD, FAAO
Center for Sight, Venice, Florida

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