Women (and Especially those Over 40) – It is Time to Pay Attention to Your Eye Health!

April is Women’s Eye Health and Safety Month, which may, at first glance, seem a bit of a niche concern. However, according to the organization Prevent Blindness, women make up the majority of the 4.4 million Americans, age 40 and older, who are visually impaired or blind.  More women than men have age-related macular degeneration, cataracts, and glaucoma.  These numbers will only continue to increase in the years to come.

Although there are no cures for some of these diseases, many of the effects may be lessened through early detection and treatment.  A 2015 survey found that one in four women had not received an eye exam in the past two years. Since women may not be aware that they are at greater risk than men of developing eye disease that could lead to serious vision impairment, practitioners can take the opportunity during Women’s Eye Health and Safety Month to stress the importance of paying attention to eye health and the importance of an annual eye exam.

A comprehensive eye exam should include a thorough examination of the retina, including an optomap, which is complementary to a DFE and an excellent tool for screening and for patient education. Because an optomap image can be obtained in less than ½ second, it leaves ample time for the practitioner to educate on eye health.

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Dr. Germain Burke and Britta

Dr. Germain Burke, of Burke Optometry in Lodi, California, understands the value of optomap in communicating with and educating her patients. She recounts a story about her patient, Britta, that demonstrates how an optomap screening can reveal issues in asymptomatic patients, as well as, patients who have trouble communicating or who may minimize health issues or concerns.

In July 2017, Britta made an appointment with Dr. Burke for a routine eye exam.  She did not share that she had been concerned about some vision distortion in her left eye.  However, Burke approached the exam as she would any routine visit, and fortunately for Britta, that included an optomap. The ultra-widefield digital retinal image provides a 200° view of the retina, out to the far periphery, and this .04 second capture revealed a large shadow OS.  Burke realized immediately that she was looking at a well-progressed melanoma.

“The melanoma was in the periphery but very clear.  It was a Friday afternoon so she took a picture of the optomap image on the screen and sent that immediately to her primary care physician through a secure portal.  Her PCP responded quickly and got her set up for a retinal exam on Monday.  On Tuesday she was in to see the oncologist and a PET scan, thankfully, showed that the cancer had not spread.”  A week later Britta had a radioactive plaque sewn into the sclera opposite the lesion and is now being monitored for efficacy and progression.

“I believe I am a good doctor but with optomap I feel like I am going to be able to catch big or small issues that I might not have seen otherwise.  I can provide more accurate notes and detailed information when I refer a patient on to a specialist. It facilitates the communication for follow-up care as well, and monitoring is more accurate,” says Burke.

She notes that they brought optomap technology into the practice shortly before she saw Britta, and stresses that this case is one of the reasons that she and the staff at Burke Optometry are glad that they did not wait to make that purchase. “Because we had that optomap image, the communication and the responsive action worked as smoothly and quickly as it possibly could have.  I really believe there was no other way it could have gone as well.  This is one of the reasons I sincerely feel everyone should have an optomap taken as part of a comprehensive exam.”

Visit our website to find a doctor such as Dr. Burke, who has optomap in their practice.


Doctor Discovers His Own Pathology with Proven UWF Technology

When Vince Young, OD introduced the Daytona from Optos in his practice, he volunteered to be the imaging guinea pig while his staff was being trained on the device.  He was unnerved when he reviewed his images with the trainer and somewhat uncertain about what he was actually seeing.  He knew what a posterior subcapsular cataract (PSC) looked like through the slit lamp but was surprised by what the optomap image laid evident.  While optomap is known for being able to penetrate through medial opacities far better than white light modalities, a PSC, which tends to be denser than other types of cataract, will cast a shadow on the retina revealing the issue. A concerned Dr. Young sent the image to his wife, Lindsey Brewer Young, OD.  When she reviewed the image on her phone she immediately responded, questioning whose eye she was regarding.  Learning it was her husband’s image she returned to the clinic, conducted a dilated exam, and confirmed that it was indeed a PSC that had been revealed in the optomap image.

Doctor discovers his own pathology with optomap

Read the entire story by clicking on the image

Young, who is 40, had no reason to suspect he would have cataracts which are more typically associated with the elderly population.  A subcapsular cataract occurs at the back of the lens and can be caused by a variety of circumstances such as systemic issues and some forms of medication. Posterior subscapsular cataracts are also more difficult to remove, due to adhesion of the cataract to the lens capsule, and there is an increased risk of capsule rupture during removal.1   However, Young’s cataract surgery on both eyes was successful and his vision is fine.

This discovery has become an excellent tool in communicating the importance of optomap to his patients.  The image hangs in the exam room while Young and his staff frequently share the story. “If the doctor didn’t know he had a cataract, how would anyone else know?” they say, underscoring how valuable the screening can be.  This unusual story has assisted with the elevated level of acceptance the optomap receives in the office.

Blanchard Eye Care sits in a quiet community outside Blanchard, OK and Young was concerned that he would have difficulty getting people in the rural community to embrace the technology.  He, however, was convinced that if he at least broke even it would be worth the investment based on the clinical value.  “Before purchasing the Daytona, I asked several of my colleagues about their experiences and they referred to it as a ‘no—brainer’,” says Young. He stresses that while the technology has without a doubt brought a financial bonus, the value of what it provides clinically far outweighs the monetary gain.

Young stresses how the exam experience has changed with optomap in an extremely valuable way when it comes to patient education.  The optomap image enables him to help his patients understand exactly what is occurring in their eye, or even just to provide reassurance that all is well.  “Even if there is no pathology, patients want me to take the images every year. They want to see what I see.”

Young happens to be color blind and further identifies another contribution that optomap brings to him, personally.  Because of this, a slit lamp view can sometimes make it difficult for him to distinguish between a hematoma and a nevus.  “However, the optomap image allows me to look at the different channels, and these features really jump out on some of the layers.  I’m much more positive about my diagnoses now.”

Dr. Young’s story demonstrates that it is not only possible for practitioners to image themselves and discover retinal pathology but also discover if significant opacities reside in the media as well.

Today, cataracts affect more than 22 million Americans age 40 and older. And as the US population ages, more than 30 million Americans are expected to have cataracts by the year 2020.2  optomap technology is being increasingly utilized in cataract surgery clinics for immediate views of the retina.  The ultra-widefield view is obtained through problematic, medial opacities, where white light has difficulty, revealing any retinal issues that might be a concern prior to surgery, as well as, following surgery. The ability to quickly and easily observe and document retinal health before and after cataract surgery provides both the patient and practitioner a tremendous peace of mind.

optomap, helping doctors identify pathology, even on themselves. Let us know if you are ready to bring optomap to your practice or clinic.


2 http://www.allaboutvision.com/conditions/cataracts.htm


Optos Featured at the 3rd Annual Canadian Retina Society Meeting

The third annual Canadian Retina Society Meeting is taking place from 26 February  through 1 March 2015 at the beautiful mountain resort of Whistler, British Columbia. The Canadian Retina Society and the Canadian Ophthalmology Society have teamed up to create a premiere learning experience for Canadian retina specialists, and Optos is proud to be featured at the event.


Optos Featured at the 3rd Annual Canadian Retina Society Meeting

Source: Canadian Ophthalmological Society



Optos is proud to be part of this exciting learning opportunity. Our ultra-widefield retinal imaging technology has been clinically proven to enable earlier diagnosis and treatment of retinal diseases. Because optomap® delivers a 200 degree view of the retina in a single scan, the high resolution images enable pathologies in the periphery to be documented and analyzed which can provide better treatment options and better patient outcomes. Be sure to stop by to find out what is new with Optos and optomap.


optomap® assists in detecting and tracking retinal pathology

The Optos team constantly strives to improve upon our retinal imaging technology. In our effort to be THE retina company, we realize our technology is not only saving vision, it is also saving lives.


Denise Kniefel, OD knows the value of the optomap® exam because she has been a customer of Optos since 2004. No stranger to the technology, Dr. Kniefel started imaging her retina as a matter of course. In 2008 at a tradeshow, she stopped in to talk to the representatives from the company. Optos had recently unveiled new technology that allowed for even better optomap imaging than in the past. Dr. Kniefel sat down and had her retinal image captured. A nevus was detected that she hadn’t previously seen.


The image prompted Dr. Kniefel to see her ophthalmologist and have a fluorescein angiography and an OCT exam done. She did indeed have a nevus, which is essentially a freckle in the eye, and needs to be routinely monitored. Just like a freckle on your skin, it can change and become cancerous. Her doctor told her if the nevus did change into cancerous melanoma of eye, she would notice changes to her vision.


Denise continued to image herself every six months using the optomap, and in 2013, she noticed that the nevus looked different but she was not experiencing any vision loss. She went back to her retinal specialist who told her the nevus was now presenting as a very small choroidal melanoma. Dr. Kniefel went to Evangelos Gragoudas, MD at Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary in December of 2013 for proton beam radiation. Because it is so soon after her treatment, her prognosis is unclear. However, because of the optomap technology, the cancer was caught at an extremely early stage, the best case scenario for a positive outcome.


Visit Optos today to learn more about our technology and to learn how partnering with us can help you See More. Treat More Effectively™.


See the Full Picture with the optomap® App

Optos is making it easier than ever for Ophthalmologists and Vitreo-retinal specialists to explore ultra-widefield (UWF™) retinal imaging technology before investing in the equipment for their practice.



With apps available for both Apple® and Android tablets, you can see first-hand the detailed images optomap provides. Interactive features, case studies, testimonials, and quizzes make the optomap mobile app an interesting and engaging way to educate yourself on UWF.


To create the high-resolution images, optomap utilizes red and green lasers which are directed through a virtual scanning point in the eye. The lights then return through the optical scanning system and create a highly detailed image of up to 82 percent of the retina. Because many eye diseases present in the periphery, UWF imaging allows you see more, discover more, and treat your patients more effectively.


Download the optomap mobile app for your Apple® tablet on iTunes, or for your Android tablet using this Google Play.


Please contact us if you are interested in learning more on how to partner with Optos.


Image Source: Optos