Safe Toys and Gifts Awareness Month — Because Ralphie’s mom was right

Posted on December 5th, 2016 by
December is Safet Toys and Gifts Month

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


Every parent, relative and gift-giver has a role to play …

A New Look at Non-proliferative Diabetic Retinopathy

Posted on December 1st, 2016 by
Proliferative Diabetic Retinopathy, FA, captured using the California

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


The core question posed by …

Expanding Diabetic Retinopathy Screening with Telemedicine

Posted on November 22nd, 2016 by
optomap for telemedicine programs

November is National Diabetes Month. Many of this month’s events encourage those with diabetes to pay special attention to their vision health. The problem? Forecasts suggest that increasing numbers of diabetic patients will have difficulty accessing vision screening and care. Recent developments in telemedicine are pointing the way to a solution.



More Patients, Not Enough Vision Care Providers


There are an estimated 415 million people in the world with diabetes. That population will climb to 642 million by 2040. The 104 million diabetes patients now in North America and Europe will grow at a slower rate, but by 2040 will still total over 132 million people.


The public health issues presented by diabetes are numerous, but vision care is of particular concern. Some level of diabetic retinopathy (DR) will affect as many as 40% of those with diabetes. Of these, a significant percentage will develop diabetic macular edema (DME). Complicating the picture is the high rate of undiagnosed diabetes – it’s estimated at over 27% of cases in the US. Finally, early stage DR is often asymptomatic, giving patients no reason to seek vision care.


Access is another part of the problem. It’s no surprise …

Two Reasons Your Diabetic Patients Need Ultra-Widefield Retinal Imaging

Posted on November 16th, 2016 by
2015, International Diabetes Federation, Atlas

November is National Diabetes Month. It’s a time to reflect on the growing incidence of diabetes in North America, Europe, and the rest of the world. If you’re committed to superior diagnosis and care, here are two reasons why your ever-increasing number of diabetic patients need ultra-widefield imaging.



The starting point is a stark set of numbers. Globally there are an estimated 415 million people with diabetes, a number expected to grow to 642 million by 2040. In North America and Europe, similar stories: a total of 104 patients million today, increasing more than 26% to 132 million by 2040. Up to 40% of affected individuals will develop some level of diabetic retinopathy (DR). A significant percentage will develop diabetic macular edema (DME). All of these people will need visual health screening and supervision for the rest of their lives.


Reasons to Use Ultra-widefield For Your Diabetic Patients


Reason #1: Ultra-widefield (UWF™) imaging technology provides you with a more complete diagnostic picture.


The gold standard for assessing the presence and severity of DR and DME is ETDRS seven standard field imagery (7SF). How does UWF imaging compare? The most significant difference is diagnostic reach. UWF imaging presents …

Managing Diabetes – It’s Not Easy, But It’s Worth It

Posted on November 11th, 2016 by

If you’ve been diagnosed with diabetes, you’re most likely receiving advice on how to manage your disease. The problem is that diabetes is complex. Controlling it requires that you manage your daily blood glucose, modify your diet, control your weight, visit your doctors regularly, and look out for signs of potentially life-threatening complications, among other things.


The National Diabetes Education Program tells it like it is – managing diabetes is hard, but worth it.



Vision Care and Diabetes


With over 40% of patients diagnosed with diabetes eventually developing some level of diabetic retinopathy (DR), regular vision care is an important part of your diabetes management program. DR affects the tiny blood vessels of the retina, the light-sensitive tissue that lines the back of the eyes. In the less severe form of DR, blood vessels swell and leak small amounts of blood and fluid into the eye. Vision may be unaffected, giving no clue to the presence of disease.


However, untreated, this mild form of DR can progress. More advanced stages of DR can cause macular ischemia, where capillaries in the macula close causing blurred vision. Another complication of advanced DR is macular edema. This swelling of the macula …