Put the Power of Being AMD Aware in Your Own Hands

Age-Related Macular Degeneration (AMD) is the leading cause of blindness among older Americans, but new treatments have dramatically changed the course of this disease over the last 10 years, making AMD more manageable than ever before. During AMD Awareness Month in February, the American Academy of Ophthalmology is reminding people that even though currently there is no cure for age-related macular degeneration, there are a number of things you can do to slow its effects and prevent blindness, early detection being a critical first step. AMD is the leading cause of irreversible vision loss in people over 50 and is rapidly growing, worldwide.

What is AMD?
– AMD is a common eye condition and a leading cause of blindness in those 50 and older.  Aging can cause the macula to slowly degenerate and reduce central vision.
– AMD often advances so slowly that vision loss does not occur for many years and traces of the disease can go unnoticed.  In others, the disease may progress faster and lead to vision loss in one or both eyes.  Over time, objects in vision may not appear as bright as they once were and a blurred area in vision is common, further leading to blank spots in vision.
-AMD ultimately results in a loss of central vision that can interfere with simple everyday activities.

There is as of yet no outright cure for age-related macular degeneration, but some treatments may delay its progression or even improve vision. Treatments for macular degeneration depend on whether the disease is in its early-stage, dry form or in the more advanced, wet form that can lead to serious vision loss.

Dry Vs Wet AMD
Wet AMD occurs when abnormal blood vessels behind the retina start to grow under the macula.  These new blood vessels tend to be very fragile and often leak blood and fluid. The blood and fluid raise the macula from its normal place at the back of the eye. Damage to the macula occurs rapidly. With wet AMD, loss of central vision can occur quickly. Wet AMD is considered to be advanced AMD and is more severe than the dry form.

Dry AMD occurs when the light-sensitive cells in the macula slowly break down, gradually blurring central vision in the affected eye. As dry AMD gets worse, you may see a blurred spot in the center of your vision. Over time, as less of the macula functions, central vision in the affected eye can be lost gradually.

The most common symptom of dry AMD is slightly blurred vision. You may have difficulty recognizing faces and may need more light for reading and other tasks. Dry AMD generally affects both eyes, but vision can be lost in one eye while the other eye seems unaffected.

One of the most common early signs of dry AMD is drusen. Drusen are yellow deposits under the retina. They often are found in people over age 60. Your eye care professional can detect drusen during a comprehensive eye exam.

How to Protect your Vision
While there is currently no cure for AMD, there are proactive steps that can be taken to help slow vision loss as well as certain risk factors to look out for.
1) Smoking.  Research shows that smoking doubles the risk of developing and the progression of AMD
2) Healthy Diet. Diets rich in antioxidants, zinc and healthy fats can contribute to health eyes.  Patients with AMD will benefit from diets high in omega-3 fatty acids.
3) Exercise.  Maintaining a healthy body weight and exercises will aid in healthy vision and may help slow progression of AMD.
4) Routine Eye exams.  Annual comprehensive eye exams are the best way to stay on top of your eye health and prevent vision loss. Everyone should have their eyes regularly examined by an eye care professional who uses optomap® technology. optomap is the only technology that can show up to 200⁰ of the retina which will facilitate early detection of eye health diseases, including AMD.

AMD Detection
AMD is usually detected during a comprehensive eye exam. During an eye exam, you may be asked to look at an Amsler grid. The pattern of the grid resembles a checkerboard. You will cover one eye and stare at a black dot in the center of the grid. While staring at the dot, you may notice that the straight lines in the pattern appear wavy. You may notice that some of the lines are missing. These may be signs of AMD.

If your eye care professional believes you need treatment for wet AMD, he or she may suggest a fluorescein angiogram. In this test, a special dye is injected, and pictures are taken as the dye passes through the blood vessels in your retina. The test allows your eye care professional to identify any leaking blood vessels and recommend treatment.

Clinical Summary Sheet – Peripheral changes found in 97% of Patients with AMD

Peripheral Retinal Changes Associated with Age-Related Macular Degeneration
The 12 year follow-up of a study known as the Reykjavik Eye Study evaluated subjects with optomap color and autofluorescence (af) imaging and found that 67% of subjects in the study had peripheral AMD-like changes.  Additionally, a subsequent study, knowns as the OPERA (Optos Peripheral RetinA) study found that peripheral retinal changes were more prevalent in eyes with AMD than in those without.  Drusen were evident in the majority of the eye with AMD in both the mid and far periphery.  These studies go to show that Age-related macular degeneration may be more than a “macular” condition but one that involves the entire retina.    Other research also shows that optomap UWF icg captured significant peripheral changes in 80% of AMD patients.  These studies all contribute to the benefits of ultra-widefield imaging in the diagnosis and management of AMD.  Future longitudinal studies of peripheral changes in AMD and their impact on visual function may also contribute to further understanding of the disease.  Click here for more information regarding these studies or visit our website to learn more about optomap and its assistance in managing eye disease.

Glaucoma – the “Sneak Thief of Sight”

Currently, there are more than 3 million people in the United States and over 60 million worldwide living with glaucoma, otherwise known as “the sneak thief of sight”.  It is estimated that half of those with glaucoma, do not know they have it.  The disease presents no symptoms and is the leading cause of irreversible blindness, taking as much as 40% of sight without notice.  January has been deemed National Glaucoma Awareness Month and is an important time to spread the world about this sight-stealing disease.

What is Glaucoma?

Glaucoma is a group of eye diseases that gradually progress, stealing sight, without symptom. Glaucoma can affect people of all ages but is most prevalent in middle-aged adults and the elderly.  While there is no cure, surgery or medication can slow its affects and help to prevent further vision loss.  The word ‘glaucoma’ is actually an umbrella term for a group of eye diseases that damage the delicate fibers that run from your eye to your optic nerve, which is the nerve that carries information about the images your eye sees to your brain. This damage is often the result of high fluid pressure inside the eye.

What can you do?

It is important to know your risks, those at higher risk include people of African, Asian, and Hispanic descent. Other high-risk groups include: people over 60, family members of those already diagnosed, diabetics, and people who are severely nearsighted.  Annual comprehensive eye exams are important to detect, prevent and treat the effects of the disease.

optomap’s role in the management of glaucoma

Results from recently published clinical studies suggest that optomap ultra-widefield (UWF™) retinal imaging may play an essential role in glaucoma management.  optomap enables eyecare professionals to discover, diagnose, document and treat ocular pathology that may first present in the periphery.  optomap is a high resolution single capture image of 82% or 200 degrees of the retina.  Currently, the gold standard tool for glaucoma detection is a clinical examination with a dilated slit-lamp bio-microscopy carried out by a glaucoma specialist to assess the optic disc.  Recent studies suggest that UWF imaging may be suitable for diagnosing glaucoma in situations where slit-lamp bio-microscopy or digital color stereoscopy are not available.  Another study also confirms that optomap has almost perfect agreement with color digital stereoscopy when assessed
by a glaucoma specialist. Continued reading on these studies and additional findings here

stereo pair of optic nerve head images with can be viewed using a stereo viewer, when there is suspicion of glaucoma

optomap is continuing to become a key player in the role of eye care professionals.  optomap provides details needed for specialty exams, while simultaneously delivering an integrated view to the eye, as said by Dr. Savak Tymoorian, MD of Harvard Eye Associates. When Dr. Tymoorian first began using Optos technology, he employed it primary for patients presenting with flashers or floaters.  While reviewing the images, he was able to pick up on more peripheral issues and early indicators of pathology.  “The more I use the device, the more I appreciate this dynamic technology, I now image all my patients this way”, states Tymoorian.   As a glaucoma specialist, Dr Tymoorian finds that optomap helps reassure him that he is not missing peripheral issues that could be relevant to the disease.

Recognizing January as National Glaucoma Awareness Month, allows us to shed light on glaucoma and stress the importance of protecting your sight and preventing the onset of the disease.  The best way to protect your sight from glaucoma is to get a comprehensive eye examination. This way, if you have glaucoma, treatment can begin immediately.

optomap UWF imaging captures more than 80% of the retina in a single image, whereas traditional imaging methods can sometimes only reveal 10 – 15%.  optomap is a fast and easy addition to a standard comprehensive eye exam.  Don’t hesitate, and ask your eye care professional about optomap today.

New Study Confirms the Equivalence of optomap to ETDRS Gold Standard for Grading Diabetic Retinopathy

November is Diabetes Awareness Month.  In 2015, 30.3 million Americans, or 9.4% of the population, had diabetes and approximately 1.25 million American children and adults had type 1 diabetes. These numbers are on the rise and the disease manifests with deleterious and deadly impact throughout the body – including the eye. An understanding of the disease, early detection and treatment are more imperative than ever.

 

A recent study cooperatively funded by the National Eye Institute, the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney diseases and the US Department of Health and Human Services concluded  that optomap ultra-widefield (UWF™) retinal imaging is a useful diagnostic tool for detection and assessment of severity of diabetic retinopathy (DR). The study published recently in JAMA Ophthalmology demonstrates that optomap UWF imaging can be used reliably in place of Early Treatment Diabetic Retinopathy Study (ETDRS) 7-Field imaging in clinical use and future clinical trials.  The paper, which builds off recent single site studies that found moderate to perfect agreement between the modalities, supports these findings through data acquired over a two-year period from multiple sites.

The gold standard assessment of DR severity has been based on grading of lesions within the ETDRS 7 standard fields. These 7 fields are time consuming in their acquisition, require dilation and once compiled represent only 34% of the retinal surface.  Advances in retinal imaging technology now allow UWF imaging to capture 82% of the retina in a single image and in less than ½ second without the need for dilation. This collaborative study offers that given the technological advances now enabling UWF imaging, and the potential benefits of this approach, there may be substantial impetus for moving to UWF imaging if it is compatible in determining DR severity, and if pathology in the retinal periphery provides additional clinically useful information on prospective worsening of retinopathy.

In this current multi-site study, there were 737 gradable eyes on both ETDRS 7-field images and UWF images masked to contain the same 7 fields after adjudication; 59% had exact agreement, and 96% were within 1 step of agreement.  The conclusion of the study clearly supported moderate to perfect agreement between modalities within the limited masked scope of the current gold standard.  As seen was seen in previous studies, when the area outside of ETDRS was assessed predominantly peripheral DR lesions (PPL) were present in 41.0% of these eyes and suggested increased DR severity  by 2 or more steps in 11.0%.

Cursorily referenced in this preliminary paper was a consideration of efficiency between modalities.  This initial study release notes that the use of UWF imaging in clinical settings not only increases the frequency of DR identification nearly 2-fold but also reduces acquisition time by more than half, ungradable image rate by 71% and image evaluation by 28% compared with non-mydriatic fundus photography.

The study suggests the possibility of UWF imaging becoming a preferred method of assessment of DR severity, not only because of moderate to perfect agreement between modalities within the ETDRS scope, but also because of the information found in UWF outside the ETDRS mask. This raises the question regarding the potential for detecting DR change and severity earlier.  Data collected from a previous study, suggests that lesions observed outside of the area captured within ETDRS may identify a possible subset of patients with the disease that may be more aggressive.  These lesions were found to suggest a 4.7 times greater risk of worsening to treatable DR over a period of four years.  That study also concludes that the identification of a subset of patients at greatly increased risk of experiencing DR progression and onset of proliferative DR that cannot be assessed by ETDRS 7-field imaging, would have important implications for the evaluation and care of diabetic eye disease.

The significance of the additional peripheral information gleaned through UWF imaging in assessing the risk of future DR progression will develop with the data collected from this ongoing study.  The complete study and summary document, as well as our entire clinical library is available on our website. We encourage you to learn more about the clinical benefits of utilizing ultra-widefield optomap in your practice or clinic.

Sources:
Comparison of Early Treatment Diabetic Retinopathy Study Standard 7-Field Imaging with Ultra Widefield Imaging for Determining Severity of Diabetic Retinopathy. Journal of American Medicine, 2018
Peripheral Lesions Identified on Ultra Widefield Imaging Predict Increased Risk of Diabetic Retinopathy Progression Over Four Years. Ophthalmology 2015

Keeping yourself, your kids, and everyone’s peepers safe this Halloween!

With Halloween upon us, dressing up is all part of the fun for both children and adults.  To ensure Halloween is fun and safe for all, it is important to take proper precautions for safety.  Each year, the US hospital emergency rooms treat several hundred eye injuries related to Halloween costumes and masks. Additionally, it is often very easy for children to be less visible to drivers during evening hours.  Prevent Blindness® has provided some helpful safety times to keep in mind this Halloween:

Costumes and Safety

-Avoid costumes with masks, wigs, floppy hats or eye patches that block vision.
-Tie hats and scarves securely so they don’t slip over children’s eyes.
-Avoid costumes that drag on the ground to prevent tripping or falling
-Avoid pointed props such as spears, swords or wands that may harm other children’s eyes.
-Wear bright, reflective clothing or decorate costumes and bags with reflective tape/patches.
-Carry a bright flashlight to improve visibility.
-Do not ride a bike/scooter/skateboard or roller blade while wearing a costume.
-Obey all traffic signals—pedestrian and driver.
-Younger children should go with an adult while trick-or-treating around the neighborhood. Older children should trick-or-treat in groups.
-Use common sense. Never dart out between parked cars or hidden corners such as alleys. Avoid streets under construction.
-Don’t trick or-treat in busy commercial areas or where there is heavy traffic.
-Go trick-or-treating in daylight, as it is safer than going after dark.
-A safer option is to go to a Halloween party instead of trick-or-treating.

Treats

-Inspect all trick-or-treat items for signs of tampering before allowing children to eat them.
-Carefully inspect any toys or novelty items received by kids age 3 and younger. These may pose a choking hazard. Avoid giving young kids lollipops as the sticks can cause eye injuries.

Decorations

-Be sure your lawn, steps, porch and front door are well lit and free from obstacles.
-Keep candles and jack-o’-lanterns away from steps and porches outside, as costumes could brush against them and ignite. Inside, keep them away from curtains and other decorations to avoid causing a fire.

Older kids often complete their Halloween costumes with spooky cosmetic contact lenses. Remember that contact lenses are medical devices and require a valid prescription. Despite this rule however, these contacts are still widely available. If you or your child do decide to wear cosmetic contact lenses, be sure to follow safety guidelines  as to not suffer vision impairment. Decorative lenses should only be purchased from a licensed eye care professional, such as an Ophthalmologist or Optometrist. Also be sure to follow all the cleaning and sterilizing instructions carefully and if you experience redness, swelling or discomfort, see an eye care professional immediately.

 

Optos would like to wish you all a happy and safe Halloween. To protect your vision, make sure you and your family receive an annual retinal exam that includes optomap®.

https://www.verywellhealth.com/halloween-eye-safety-tips-3421885
https://www.preventblindness.org/tips-making-halloween-safe

Halloween Costumes and Eye Safety


optomap Enables Detection, Diagnosis, and Guides Treatment in Age-Related Ocular Pathology

September is Healthy Aging month, however despite age related changes to vision, ocular health is often overlooked.  As the aging population grows, adding the first influx of generation X to the baby boomers in the over 50 demographics, the incidences of glaucoma and Age-related Macular Degeneration (AMD) are also on the rise.

Recent studies have demonstrated how optomap ultra-widefield™ (UWF) retinal imaging is fulfilling a need in supporting the detection and management of both ocular and systemic diseases associated with aging. UWF imaging provides a high resolution, single-capture image of 82% (or 200 degrees) of the retina.  Studies have confirmed that the resolution of the optomap image – is comparable to fundus photography – which captures 11% of the retina, in detection of diseases such as diabetic retinopathy, AMD and uveitis.  Additionally, studies have found that the additional area captured by optomap can enhance the ability to detect, diagnose and manage diseases in comparison to fundus photography and be captured more efficiently.  UWF is being increasingly used in optometric and ophthalmic settings and enables eye care professionals to detect, diagnose, document and treat ocular pathology including retinal disease that may first present in the periphery.

Age-Related Macular Degeneration (AMD) is the leading cause of severe vision loss in adults over age 50. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimate that by the year 2020, 196 million people worldwide will be living with some form of AMD.

Although there have been many discoveries in the understanding of the causes of AMD, including links to genetics, there remains much unknown about this complicated, degenerative disease. Over time the retinal periphery has been able to be more easily studied in early AMD to determine the value in the detection and/or monitoring of the disease.  However, with the advent of multi-modality UWF imaging, novel studies are beginning to demonstrate this value. Color optomap imaging captures the structure and fundus autofluorescence (FAF) the function of the Retinal Pigment Epithelium (RPE) which is where AMD manifests within the eye. Studies have revealed that 97% of patients with AMD have evidence of the disease in the far periphery.

This outcome demonstrated that drusen were seen in a majority of eyes, strongly indicating that AMD is more than a macular condition but one that involves the entire retina. This is being investigated in a further study that will determine whether these peripheral changes are associated with the progression of the disease.   Read the Full Article

Glaucoma is another primary cause of blindness worldwide, affecting an estimated 70 million people. While early detection is key to taking steps to prevent vision loss, glaucomatous vision impairment is irreversible.  Unfortunately, glaucoma can be asymptomatic until the late stages, at which time the prognosis is poor.

The gold standard for detection and diagnosis of glaucoma is a clinical examination with dilated slit lamp biomicroscopy conducted by a glaucoma specialist.  However, this level of expertise is not always feasible or readily available to broadly evaluate an aging population. Exam efficiency has been increasingly addressed via use of color digital stereoscopic photography and/or retinal tomography via SD-OCT.

A recent  study explored the potential suitability of ultra-widefield retinal imaging in diagnosing glaucoma in situations where slit-lamp biomicroscopy or digital color stereoscopy are not available. The purpose of the study was to evaluate the reproducibility and validity of UWF in estimating Vertical Cup to Disc Ratio (VCDR) measurements and was the first study of its kind to explore whether optomap imaging could be suitable as a diagnostic support tool for glaucoma.

The study evaluated the data from color digital stereoscopic fundus images (CDS) and UWF images.  All the photographs and images were graded by two masked trained graders and one masked glaucoma specialist. The optomap images were graded using the ‘measure distance’ tool on the OptosAdvancesoftware, to measure and record cup to disc ratio (CDR).

The study demonstrated an almost perfect agreement between CDS and optomap when assessed by the glaucoma specialist.   The study concludes that optomap imaging has a high reproducibility in evaluating VCDR and agreement with stereoscopic optic disc imaging and indicates that UWF imaging may be suitable for glaucoma evaluation in settings where CDS is not available. Read the Full Article here….
Or visit our website to learn more about clinical studies utilizing optomap technology

https://www.aoa.org/patients-and-public/eye-and-vision-problems/glossary-of-eye-and-vision-conditions/macular-degeneration
http://www.allaboutvision.com/conditions/amd.htm
https://nei.nih.gov/health/maculardegen/armd_facts
https://www.aaojournal.org/article/S0161-6420(16)31491-9/abstract
http://www.aaojournal.org/article/S0161-6420(16)31491-9/fulltext