Athletes of all levels need to protect themselves from injury. Injuries are unfortunately a part of playing sports – anyone from weekend warriors to professionals, has probably nursed some sort of injury. In some cases, these injuries happen directly to the eye, from orbital blowout fracture, ruptured globe, or a detached retina and some can be detected, along with other types of ocular and systemic pathology, by looking at the health of the eye.
There have been, and continue to be, many studies in the area of sports-related eye trauma. And with more and more interest in the effects of concussions on athletes, seeing “inside” the eye is becoming increasingly important. An x-ray, MRI, CT scan will tell you if something is broken and may confirm a diagnosis of concussion. But what about the effects of repetitive concussive injury? Can that be detected by imaging the eye itself? According to the Centers for Disease Control, up to 3.8 million sports-related concussions occur each year. And detecting these injuries is not always straightforward or based exclusively on objective signs and symptoms. Or what about treating the whole athlete and monitoring systemic as well as ocular health?
Sports-related eye injuries often result in vision loss, and are the leading cause of blindness in children.1 According to the National Eye Institute (NEI) and the National Eye Health Education Program (NEHEP), in the United States, sports-related eye injuries account for over 100,000 physician visits per year at an estimated cost of $175 million. Since most eye injuries are preventable, more sight may be preserved by exercising injury prevention techniques.
Protective eyewear is vitally important in the prevention of injury, but the NEI and NEHEP also strongly recommend that all people who participate in sporting activities have comprehensive eye exams as part of their regular physical examinations, especially for those with pre-existing eye conditions. optomap® has a huge part to play in facilitating difficult eye examinations, and in supporting the early detection of peripheral retinal complications following sports-related eye injuries.
Direct, blunt force injury to the eye often causes swelling for several days, making a comprehensive retinal examination difficult. Early assessment of the eye is imperative in saving sight, as these injuries cause a high risk of retinal detachment or retinal bleed. The half-second capture speed and non-mydriatic advantages of optomap technology allow for more timely, less invasive access to …
It is estimated that in the United States, choroidal nevi can be found in 4.6 to 7.9 percent of Caucasian individuals1 and that one in approximately 8,000 of these nevi transform into melanoma2. It is this rare ability that makes these lesions clinically significant.
Choroidal nevi are typically discovered during routine dilated fundus examinations and are usually asymptomatic. However, some may be associated with central and peripheral vision loss secondary to subretinal fluid, cystoid retinal edema or, rarely, neovascularization3. Choroidal melanoma also tend to be asymptomatic, but are more likely to be symptomatic than benign nevi, presenting as decreased vision, flashes or floaters.
In their study, Cheung et al. suggest that there are phenotypical markers and environmental risk factors that predispose a person to developing choroidal melanoma. A later study4, using optomap®, determined that choroidal nevi were also present in subjects who did not conform to a particular phenotype. Gordon-Shaag et al. concluded that it was the expanded view (200°) of ultra-widefield (UWF™) technology that improved their ability to locate nevi. This was further supported by Brett et al., who concluded that the optomap was the most effective device for pinpointing choroidal nevi5.
Choroidal nevi are commonly reported as incidental findings in asymptomatic patients during routine eye exams. Nevi on the retina, similar to “freckles” on the skin, should be monitored for changes as they may turn in to melanoma1.
With the increased use of ultra-widefield (UWF™) imaging, reports of secondary findings of choroidal nevi are increasing. Because optomap®, captures up to 82% or 200° of the retina in a single image, it can impact the ability of eyecare professionals to detect previously unnoticed retinal anomalies. Once found, these anomalies may be closely monitored and differentiated using the optomap 3-in-1 color depth imaging in conjunction with optomap af, the latter which highlights lipofuscin in the retinal pigment epithelium (RPE) and is particularly useful for the detection of choroidal neoplasms and nevi2.
Dr. Bryan Stoller reported using optomap to monitor Jeffry, a 54 year-old man with glaucoma3. Jeffry had his intra-ocular pressure (IOP) checked every four months, and returned annually for UWF imaging of his optic nerve and a small choroidal nevus. During one visit, while using optomap af, Dr. Stoller noticed that the nevus had started to autofluoresce. Although the choroidal nevus, measuring three disc diameters (DD), had not increased in size, …
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?