Optos is proud to announce its continued sponsorship of Optometry Giving Sight, an organization dedicated to transforming lives through the gift of vision.
Sight is the most important of the five senses. In fact, the brain receives 80 percent of its information from the eyes, according to the National Institutes of Health (NIH). In a national survey, most Americans said that losing their vision would affect their lives more than losing memory, speech, hearing, an arm or a leg.
Blindness and vision impairment affect more than 600 million people around the world, according to Optometry Giving Sight. Many cases are because individuals do not have access to the eye exams and eyeglasses they need. Optos is dedicated to helping people across the globe receive the quality eye exams and corrective lenses necessary for good vision.
Optometry Giving Sight
Optometry Giving Sight works with a number of organizations towards the common goal of eliminating avoidable blindness. The organization has eight fundraising offices around the world that secure financial support for projects in 37 countries. Through the support of donors and sponsors, Optometry Giving Sight transforms lives through the gift of vision.
More than 3 million people in the United States have glaucoma, according to the Glaucoma Research Foundation, and the number of people with this eye disease will increase 58 percent to reach 4.2 million by 2030. Much of this epidemic is the result of an aging population, but a great deal has to do with awareness. Recognizing January as Glaucoma Awareness Month gives billions of people the opportunity to learn more about this vision-robbing disease. About Glaucoma
Glaucoma is a leading cause of vision loss and blindness in the United States, according to the National Eye Institute, but about half of all people with glaucoma do not realize they have the eye condition because there are no symptoms. In fact, a person can lose as much as 40 percent of his vision without noticing.
Glaucoma is the cause of 9 – 12 percent of all cases of blindness in the United States today, robbing approximately 120,000 people of their sight. There is currently no way to restore vision once it is lost, but treatment can control glaucoma and prevent severe vision loss.
One of the questions ocular health practitioners ask about ultra-widefield retinal imaging (UWF™) is regarding the justification of a voluntary procedure that entails added cost. Will patients really be interested in a new and possibly unfamiliar diagnostic procedure that’s not covered by insurance?
The core issue is patient perception. If a procedure is not paid for by insurance, is it really necessary? Here are some practical suggestions about how to talk to your patients about the importance of optomap.
The Patient Wants to Hear From You
While your office staff are an important part of your practice, your patients want your opinion. Even if your staff has already discussed optomap with the patient, take the time to personally explain how optomap works and its benefits. Focus on the advantages over conventional imaging, including ease of use, a wider field of view, and the ability to review and store high-resolution images.
Your personal attention to your patients’ questions and your own enthusiasm about the technology will send a powerful message.
What About Scripts?
We’ve all laughed at the desperate schemes of Ralphie Parker. He’s the 9-year-old narrator of the movie “A Christmas Story,” which follows his desperate attempts to convince his parents, his teachers and even Santa Claus that what he really wants for Christmas is a Red Ryder BB gun with the compass in the stock.
Well, we all know how well that turned out.
“A Christmas Story” reminds us that we need to take extra care around the holidays to make sure the toys and gifts our children receive are safe and age-appropriate. It’s why Prevent Blindness America has declared December “Safe Toys and Gifts Awareness Month.”
Consider the risks presented by the wrong toy. A survey by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission estimated that each year toy-related mishaps injure more than 1/4 million children under the age of 15. Almost 100,000 of these accidents occurred in infants and toddlers under 5 years of age. Another study found that over the course of one year toy makers around the world recalled more than 19 million toys because of safety concerns.
Holiday Child Safety — Everyone’s Job
One of the ways to measure the impact of a diagnostic technology is its ability to reveal insights into the origins and progression of disease. A recent study1 using ultra-widefield (UWF™) imaging is providing researchers and practitioners with a new look at diabetic retinopathy (DR). It suggests a novel way to characterize DR that may lead to a better understanding of where and how it develops.
Diabetic Retinopathy and Ultra-widefield Imaging
Over the past decade, UWF imaging has become an important tool in the assessment and treatment of DR. UWF optomap® color imaging, performed without pupil dilation, is recognized as providing diagnostic accuracy equal to the gold standard, ETDRS seven-field color fundus photography (7SF)2. Similar results have been documented for UWF fluorescein angiography, or optomap fa. Studies using optomap fa uncovered significantly more retinal vascular pathology in DR patients as compared to 7SF imaging.3
Both optomap and optomap fa give the practitioner a 200° view of the retina – a significant improvement of the 90° view afforded by 7SF imaging. This wider view of the peripheral retina has created an opportunity to develop a more complete picture of how DR develops and progresses.
Definitions and Methods