Pop quiz time: What’s one of the most important things you need to do as a parent before the new school year rolls around? The answer: Schedule back to school eye exams for your whole family!
Back to School Eye Exams are a Must
There’s little question about it: Back to school eye exams are a critical component to your child’s health and quality of life. Why? Because your child’s vision will affect virtually every aspect of academics, athletics, and extracurricular activities.
Interestingly, many common eye problems first develop in young, school-aged children. If left undiagnosed and untreated, these visual problems can disrupt your child’s ability to pay attention in class. Unfortunately, in some cases, children with visual problems end up being misdiagnosed with ADD/ADHD or another type of learning disorder. Hence, it is essential to make sure that your child’s eyesight is in top condition. This ensures that all of their unique needs are met, and that they are able to participate to the best of their ability in school.
So, what kind of eye problems will an eye care provider look for in your child?
Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is one of the world’s leading causes of central vision loss in industrial nations, causing significant visual morbidity. Non-exudative AMD accounts for approximately 90% of all reported cases.
There is a growing body of evidence suggesting that there may be early indicators preceding the development of AMD. Over 30 years ago, while investigating reticular degeneration of the pigment epithelium (RDPE), Lewis et al, discovered a correlation between the characteristics of macular degenerative changes and RDPE. One of their recommendations supported the value of observing the peripheral retina, when assessing patients with macular degenerative abnormalities1.
Understanding the relevance of peripheral retinal abnormalities, to disease progression relating to AMD and other retinal conditions, continues to evidence the value of ultra-widefield (UWF™) imaging in this process. In the 12-year follow-up of subjects from the Reykjavik Eye Study, Lengyel et al2 evaluated subjects using optomap® color and autofluorescence (AF) imaging.
The peripheral retina was phenotyped using categories defined in the International Classification of AMD which was developed to characterize the macula. The population sample was 576 subjects. Of the eyes examined, 81.1% had AMD-like changes in the macula. From this sample, 13.6% of subjects were noted to have …
Building upon two previous studies regarding the use of optomap images for studying diabetic retinopathy (DR) where optomap was found to be equivalent to Early Treatment Diabetic Retinopathy Study (ETDRS)1, and where there was the presence of predominantly peripheral lesions, they were associated with an almost 5-fold risk in the progression of DR over 4 years2, a recent study from the American Academy of Ophthalmology concludes that there is a good to excellent agreement between ultra-widefield (UWF™) images and ETDRS standard photos in determining H/Ma (hemorrhage/microaneurysm) severity, with excellent correlation of H/Ma counts within ETDRS photo fields. Utilizing the full capability of UWF peripheral fields however, produced identification of 49.8% more H/Ma suggesting a more severe H/Ma in 12.7% of eyes.
Retinal hemorrhage and/or H/Ma are critical clinical signs of early DR; similarly, the presence and severity of H/Ma are considered reliable markers for the level and risk of progression in DR. Ma (microaneurysm) counts and level also may indicate critical progression of proliferative DR and macular edema.
The objective of the study was to evaluate detection of H/Ma and/or hemorrhage comparing the two aforementioned modalities. When first evaluating a similar retinal scope of the two modalities, both UWF …
Diabetic retinopathy is one of the leading causes of vision loss and blindness around the globe, and affects approximately one-third of people with diabetes. Because the number of people with diabetes is expected to rise to more than 438 million worldwide by 2030, it can be assumed that the prevalence of diabetic retinopathy can be expected to rise, as well.
For individuals with diabetes, certain risk factors can be reduced by focusing on key elements such as education, early detection, and early treatment.
What Is Diabetic Retinopathy?
Diabetes impairs the body’s ability to control blood sugar. Because sugar can promote inflammation, a person with diabetes may experience inflammatory damage to various tissues within their body, including the retina, which is located on the inside back of your eye. High blood sugar causes damage to the blood vessels in the retina, where the small blood vessels that supply blood to their retinal tissue become leaky and irritated. Over time, this can lead to complete vision loss if not treated properly.
Why Is Early Diagnosis of Diabetic Retinopathy So Important?
It’s summertime – which means spending a lot more time outdoors. But while most of us will remember to wear sunscreen to protect our skin, it may be a little harder to remember that your eyes need protection, too.
Ultraviolet (UV) rays are invisible beams of light emitted by the sun. North of the equator, they’re strongest during the late spring and early summer. These rays can cause inflammation, tissue damage, and cellular injury when they comes in contact with the delicate structures within your eyes.
In fact, excessive sun exposure and UV-related damage can lead to a variety of eye disease, such as:
Photokeratitis, which is essentially an eye sunburn Inflammation of the cornea – appearing within a few hours of exposure Can be very painful, but damage isn’t usually long-term Pterygium, or “surfer’s eye” Growth of the conjunctiva on the surface of the eye May extend over the center of the cornea and reduce vision Can be removed with surgery Cataracts Leading cause of blindness in the world Enhanced by exposure to UV rays Cancer of the eye Scientific evidence suggests links between different forms of ocular cancer and life-long sun exposure