UWF Assists Doctors in Finding Key Symptoms for Diabetic Retinopathy

For people over 40, diabetic retinopathy (DR), is the number one reason for the development of blindness, and these numbers are expected to triple over the next few decades as the diabetes epidemic continues to grow, according to an article published by Retinal Physician. With the ability of optomap® to capture a high resolution, 200 degree view of the retina in a single scan, ultra-widefield (UWF™) retinal imaging may enable improved diagnosis, better classification, and earlier detection of disease progression, with the potential to guide our treatment strategies in patients with DR.

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The traditional retinal imaging practice was to use a fundus camera and pupil dilation to achieve a 30 degree view of the retina. Capturing images from seven different fields to obtain a 100 degree view of the retina required skilled technical ability on behalf of the practitioner, as well as a high level of cooperation from the patient. Once wide-angled angiography entered the market, the viewing area of the retina was increased to between 150-160 degrees. However, the contact lenses required made the system more challenging for the doctor and was more intrusive to the patient than the fundus camera. The advent of Optos technology, which provides a 200 degree view of the retina in a single scan, was groundbreaking not only because of the wide view, but also because it was far easier for the doctor and non-invasive for the patient, all while consistently producing high quality images.

 

A case study conducted at the Jules Stein Eye Institute was completed with a 70-year old woman who had undergone previous photocoagulation for ischemia due to high-risk proliferative DR, presented with reduced vision after roughly 12 months. Suspecting macular edema, a UWF optomap with fa was performed. While the optomap did, in fact, confirm the macular edema, neovascularization was found in multiple areas of both eyes that were undetected during the physical exam. The findings allowed the doctors to develop a targeted photocoagulation treatment for the patient.

 

To learn more about diabetic retinopathy and UWF, we invite you to peruse our case studies or contact us to learn how Optos can help your patients and your practice.

 

What is a Detached Retina and What Can You Do About It?

A detached retina is a serious eye condition which can cause blindness if not treated by medical professionals. According to the Kellogg Eye Center, symptoms of a detached retina include seeing flashing lights and floaters, or a grey veil which moves across your field of vision.

 

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About Detached Retinas

The retina is essential for vision, as it is the vehicle that sends visual images to the brain. In normal conditions, the retina lies smoothly against the eyeball wall and functions like the film inside a camera. Many millions of light-sensitive retinal cells are responsible for processing and developing optical images and transmitting them to the brain. When a retina becomes detached, vision is blurred and immediate treatment is critical, as any form of detachment results in some loss of sight.

What Causes a Detached Retina?

As people age, the vitreous gel situated between the retina and the lens of the eye may begin to pull away. This is a normal occurrence in most cases, however, some people experience slight tears to the retina as the vitreous gel moves, eventually causing retinal detachment.

 

Although a detached retina can occur at any age, it is more common in middle-aged people and older. People at greater risk of retinal detachment include the nearsighted and those who had cataract operations or suffer from glaucoma.

Retinal Detachments and Treatments

There are a number of available treatments for retinal tears or detached retina:

  • Laser treatment or cryotherapy (freezing) for retinal tears or holes. These can be performed by ophthamologists, usually meaning the damage will not result in complete retinal detachment.
  • Different types of surgery for retinal detachment include pneumatic retinopexy, vitrectomy, or scleral buckle, depending on damage to the eye. Your consultant will make the decision on the best surgical treatment to suit your needs.

About Optos

Optos was established by Douglas Anderson in 1992, after his young son became blind in one eye due to retinal detachment his passion eventually lead to the development of . optomap®,a painless retinal examination which can assist in the detection of retinal detachments.

 

Regular eye examinations are one way of checking and maintaining the health of your eyes, including checking for a detached retina. Contact Optos today to find out how we can assist your practice.

optomap image of a retinal detachment in the periphery

optomap image of a retinal detachment in the periphery

 

What Women Should Know About Their Eye Health

According to Lighthouse International, several aspects that separate women from men contribute to greater risk factors when it comes to some areas of health. In fact, two-thirds of people in the U.S. who suffer from vision loss are women. This brings to the forefront the importance of women and eye health.

 

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Source: Pixabay

 

According to Vision Aware, age-related macular degeneration, glaucoma, and cataracts are all common diseases that can be exacerbated or caused by the aging process, especially in women. Any or all of these diseases can cause permanent, uncorrectable vision loss if not diagnosed early and treatment started in the onset. Only 9 percent of women realize they are at greater risk for eye disease, and by the time changes in vision are noticed and an exam is done, the damage is usually permanent.

 

Another factor affecting women and eye health are hormones, according to Vision Aware. Synthetic hormones are used for birth control in earlier years and for control over symptoms of menopause in our later years. While both applications have positive health benefits, they can also affect your vision. Synthetic hormones bring with them the risk of vascular complications such as blood clots and stroke, both of which can cause vision loss. Hormone replacement can also increase the chance of cataract formation. It is critical that you do not stop a hormone regimen, but consult a physician or your ophthalmologist to ensure your regimen is not affecting your vision.

 

Pregnancy brings with it an influx of hormones, therefore affecting vision, according to Vision Aware. Hormonal changes can cause dry eye syndrome which may not affect vision on its own; however, it may lead to infection or other complications. Further, hormone fluctuation can contribute to a change in your vision prescription, light sensitivity, and migraines, all of which may affect vision. Hormonal changes can also lead to the development of gestational diabetes. Since this is often an indicator that diabetes will develop within a maximum of ten years, comprehensive eye exams help in sustaining vision.

 

Do not allow your gender to dictate the course of your vision. Optos cares about women and eye health and would like to impress upon you the importance of booking and keeping your regular comprehensive eye exams.

 

Assisting Glaucoma Patients Living with Low Vision

Caused by excess fluid in the eye, glaucoma results in increased pressure in the eye that may eventually damage the optic nerve, according to The Glaucoma Foundation. Unfortunately, by the time vision loss is noticeable, it is also permanent. A regular comprehensive eye exam incorporating optomap®, which can help with early disease detection, is critical to prevent vision loss. For patients living with glaucoma and low vision, there is help. A low vision specialist can help you redesign your life so you can be safely independent.

 

Source: Pixabay

Source: Pixabay

 

Although there are many forms of glaucoma, the following four, according to The Glaucoma Foundation, are some of the most common:

 

1. Primary Open-Angle: Generally found in patients over 50, this is the most common form of glaucoma in the U.S. This form is characterized by blind spots that form first in the peripheral vision.

 

2. Normal Tension: Without the detection of higher-than-usual pressure in the eye, this form is thought to be caused by poor circulation of blood to the optic nerve. Vision damage can occur anywhere in the visual field.

 

3. Angle-Closure: Affecting nearly half a million Americans, this form of glaucoma affects those of Asian descent and far-sighted people the most. It is believed to be hereditary and may affect several family members.

 

4. Acute: Acute glaucoma occurs when the pressure in the eye builds rapidly. This form can be very painful in just a few hours and cause patients to see rings around lights and experience blurry vision.

 

According to the Glaucoma Research Foundation, regardless of the form it takes, living with glaucoma and low vision can be made easier with assistance from a low-vision specialist. Vision loss can be devastating, but often with glaucoma you have more vision than you may think. A specialist will perform an evaluation with you to determine how much vision you have and what your daily life entails.

 

By changing your living environment and how you accomplish some things, you can maintain your independence in a safe manner. Some simple, effective tips may include the use of an electronic magnifying device, bending the tip of your finger over the rim of a cup or glass to know when to stop filling, and reading books in large print.

 

Optos would like to impress upon you the importance of a regular, comprehensive eye exam using optomap to assist in the earlier detection of eye disease such as glaucoma.

 

A Diet is Not Just for Your Waistline: 3 Tips for Eating for Eye Health

Sponsored by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, March is National Nutrition Month®. The theme for 2015 is “Bite into a Healthy Lifestyle” and aims to educate people on the numerous benefits of eating healthy, maintaining physical activity and developing lifestyle habits. While a healthy diet and exercise program can help you lose weight, it is not just beneficial to your waistline. Because your eyes are complex organs that depend on healthy cells and numerous blood vessels, eating for eye health is important for your vision. Be sure to include these three tips when adopting a healthier lifestyle:

 

nutrition

March is National Nutrition Month

 

1. Increase Antioxidant Intake

According to the American Optometric Association (AOA), antioxidants can help reduce the risk of developing a variety of visual impairments. Foods rich in Vitamins C and E work to create and maintain healthy cells, and there is evidence antioxidants such as these can help prevent glaucoma, cataracts, and age-related macular degeneration (AMD). Vitamin C is best found in fruits and vegetables while Vitamin E is found in nuts, sweet potatoes, and fortified cereals.

 

2. Eat your Greens

Lutein and Zeaxanthin are vital nutrients that protect the eye against blue light and act as antioxidants. The two nutrients, known as carotenoids, are the only ones that can found in high quantities in the retina. Leafy green vegetables and eggs are an excellent source of these two nutrients which can contribute to the prevention of cataracts and AMD.

 

3. Prevent Zinc Deficiency

Red meats, seafood, poultry, tofu, and black-eyed peas all contain a trace mineral called zinc. A lack of zinc, which plays a vital role in the delivery of Vitamin A to the retina to produce the pigment which protects the eye, can cause cloudy cataracts and affect night vision. Those at high risk for cataracts and AMD, or those already suffering some effects of AMD, can benefit from the appropriate of zinc intake.

 

Optos would like to remind you of the importance of regular comprehensive eye exams that include optomap®. Early detection is your best defense to protect your vision and understanding your risks can help you adjust your diet and lifestyle for better eye health.