optomap Aids Eyecare Professionals in Early Detection, Monitoring and Management of Diabetic Eye Disease

November is recognized as American Diabetes Month and Diabetic Eye Disease Awareness Month.  Diabetic Eye Disease Awareness Month aims to increase awareness of diabetes and diabetic eye disease and encourage people with diabetes to seek treatment for related vision problems.   According to Prevent Blindness America, Diabetes is now the leading cause of new cases of blindness in adults, and all people with diabetes are at risk for vision loss and blindness.

Diabetic eye disease refers to a group of eye problems that diabetic persons may face as a complication of this disease including:
Diabetic retinopathy
– A leading cause of blindness in American adults, it is caused by damage to the small blood vessels of the retina – the seeing layer of the eye.
Diabetic macular edema (DME)
 – A complication of diabetes caused by leaking blood vessels, which leads to fluid accumulation in the macula, the center of the retina used for central vision. DME can cause central vision to become blurry.
– The clouding of the lens in the eye, which blocks or changes the passage of light into the eye. Cataracts can cause vision to become blurry.
 – Optic nerve damage and possible loss of side vision, usually caused by increase in fluid pressure inside the eye.

Today, 3.6 million Americans age 40 and older suffer from Diabetic Retinopathy (DR), DR in its early stages has no symptoms as it begins to damage the small blood vessels in the retina, causing them to leak fluid and blood. As the disease progresses, blood vessels become blocked and they may rupture, or new vessels will grow on the retina, leading to vision loss. Treatments are available to help prevent and manage long term effects of the disease but are most effective when detected early.


David Brown, MD on UWF retinal imaging and its aid to advance the detection and management of diabetic retinopathy

Eyecare professionals can greatly enhance their ability to provide early detection of diabetic retinopathy with the use of ultra-widefield (UWF™) optomap technology.  optomap is specifically designed to provide an UWF image of the retina, and it is the only technology that captures 200-degrees of the retina a single capture and in less than ½ second. Because optomap images so far out in the periphery, where the damage from diabetic retinopathy often begins, it allows a clear look at the health of the retina in order to determine if there are any early warning signs of diabetic retinopathy. optomap can also be used to confirm a diagnosis, allowing eyecare professionals to initiate a plan of care as soon as possible.

In preventing vision loss in people with diabetes, primary interventions include regular, effective screenings to detect diabetic eye disease earlier combined with education to encourage patients to undergo yearly comprehensive eye examinations. Many clinicians agree that UWF is an important part of these examinations, this was discussed in an article by Dr. Paul Tornambe where he calls for the integration UWF imaging as both a practical and clinical asset to the management of patients with diabetes.  UWF continues to evolve to address specific patient requirements, including looking at non-mydriatic imaging alternatives which are also designed to be more time efficient. optomap is clinically proven as a leader in imaging patients with diabetes to support the detection of diabetic retinopathy and related diseases.

Visit our website to learn more about the clinical benefits of utilizing ultra-widefield optomap in your practice or clinic.


Paul E. Tornambe, MD, FACS. Cover Story – Ultra-Widefield Imaging: Advancing the Understanding and Management of Diabetic Retinopathy. Retina Today, April 2015 http://retinatoday.com/2015/04/ultra-widefield-imaging-advancing-the-understanding-and-management-of-diabetic-retinopathy

UWF Retinal Imaging Helps Manage Diabetic Retinopathy

According to an article written by Paul E. Tornambe, MD, FACS and appearing in the April 2015 issue of Retina Today, Optos’ ultra-widefield (UWF™) retinal imaging is helping manage and advance knowledge in diabetic retinopathy (DR). In fact, Tornambe can be quoted as saying UWF retinal imaging “…will facilitate earlier diagnosis, more accurate evaluation and better treatment outcomes.”


Source: michaeljung via iStock

Source: michaeljung via iStock

How UWF is Improving Diagnosis

Several studies have been conducted and indicate that UWF imaging has the potential to improve diagnosis and management of DR. In the article, Tornambe references several studies that show, compared to standard technology, optomap® provides high resolution images that allow for a much larger view into the periphery of the retina (200 degrees), the images are acquired rapidly and often, the patients’ eyes do not have to be dilated. Not only are the images much higher quality, it stands to reason patients are more likely to maintain a proper diagnostic schedule if they do not have to undergo dilation.


With multiple modalities such as fluorescein angiography and red-free color imaging, Optos UWF technology consistently reveals more pathology if present than other diagnostic tools are able, leading to earlier diagnosis in some cases and more advanced disease progression in others who were previously diagnosed with DR.


UWF’s Contribution to DR Management

While a number of results have already been published as evidenced by the article, there are still active studies being performed to determine the effect of UWF retinal imaging on prognosis for patients with DR. To date, strong correlations between peripheral retinal ischemia and diabetic macular edema have been formed, allowing earlier diagnosis and targeted treatment options to mitigate vision loss. Findings have also indicated additional treatment to prevent postvitrectomy diabetic vitreous hemorrhage, a basis for creating an ischemic index to determine the severity of DME and several other insights that are contributing to improving patient care. For the complete article, including references for the clinical testing, click here.


Partnering with Optos can elevate your practice to the highest standard in diabetic retinopathy management for your patients. View our UWF retinal imaging devices and contact us to learn more.


Why Diabetics Must Be Aware of Their Eye Health

Living with Type 1 or Type 2 diabetes can lead to many other health issues, especially if your blood sugar is not kept in a healthy range. What many diabetics do not take seriously enough is the effect it can have on your vision. One of the leading causes of blindness for Americans with diabetes is diabetic retinopathy. Unfortunately, it is also the most common eye disease associated with diabetes. Early eye disease detection is critical if you are diabetic and wish to maintain your eyesight.


Understanding Diabetic Retinopathy
At the back of your eye is the retina, which senses light and is vital for healthy vision. The retina has many very small blood vessels which can be damaged easier than most of your other blood vessels. Diabetic retinopathy occurs when these blood vessels undergo changes as a result of diabetes.




The Silent Vision Thief
Diabetic retinopathy is often called a “silent thief” because it is rare for a patient to notice changes in their vision until after the disease has progressed significantly enough to cause permanent damage. Left untreated, this eye disease goes through stages of progression that rob the retina of nourishment, eventually causing your body to try to create more blood vessels to supply the nutrients needed. The new vessels are weak and leak blood which blocks light from the retina, resulting in blindness.


Preventing Blindness
Early eye disease detection is your best chance at maintaining your eyesight. The earlier diabetic retinopathy is discovered, the better its response to treatment. The only way to limit damage is to have regular retinal exams to look for signs of diabetic retinopathy. By incorporating optomap ultra-widefield retinal imaging technology, in your retinal exams your doctor can see up to  200 degrees of your retina so your doctor can see into the periphery, which is where most of the earliest stages of eye disease begin.


Talk to your Doctor
Make sure the doctor responsible for your vision care is aware that you are diabetic. Set up a schedule for eye disease detection and be sure not to miss any appointments. If your doctor does not currently use optomap ultra-widefield retinal imaging for comprehensive exams, you may wish to share the benefits of Optos technology for early diagnosis and treatment of eye disease.


New Study Reveals No Correlation between Body Fat and Diabetic Retinopathy in Type 2 Diabetes Patients

It’s well-known that Type 2 diabetes can lead to diabetic retinopathy, which is the leading cause of blindness in patients under 50 years of age. We also know that obesity can lead to the development of Type 2 diabetes. With both of these facts, it seems logical correlate the amount of body fat a patient has with their propensity to develop this disease. Interestingly enough, though, studies are showing that there is no correlation between the two after all.





One particular study published in the National Library of Medicine concluded that there was no correlation between distribution of body fat, adipokine secretion and diabetic retinopathy. The research was conducted with a group of 179 individuals diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes. The scientists used MRI as a tool to measure body fat distribution and visceral fat.


With classifications used by the American Academy of Ophthalmology, patients were divided into three groups: those who had no sign of diabetic retinopathy, patients who had mild or moderate retinopathy and patients with advanced or severe cases. The latter group included proliferative and diabetic retinopathy treated with lasers.


It was discovered that patients in all three groups had similar concentrations of various fat accumulation, which indicates that this was likely not the cause of their diabetic retinopathy. In the study, it was discovered that patients with the disease had lived with Type 2 diabetes significantly longer than the group that did not, and that they also had higher levels of creatinine and macroalbuminuria, both of which suggests higher levels of kidney dysfunction.


While these results are significant, there is more research to be done on the subject. Patients with Type 2 diabetes should still maintain a healthy weight and manage their blood glucose levels to the best of their ability. These patients should also have regular eye exams, including a retinal exam in order to diagnose and begin treatment as soon as possible if there are signs of retinopathy development.


Optos would like to remind you that ultra-widefield retinal imaging technology is your patients’ best chance to receive early diagnosis and treatment of retinopathy related to their diabetes. We invite you to contact us to learn how our award-winning technology can help advance your practice.


Image Source: Optos – Diabetic Retinopathy with Mac Grid


Patient Advice: Early Signs and Symptoms of Diabetic Retinopathy

As the leading cause of blindness in adult Americans, it’s more important now than ever to ensure you’re getting regular retinal examinations to diagnose and begin treatment for diabetic retinopathy as early as possible. Your best chance at maintaining your vision is to be diagnosed during the earliest stages of this disease.





Unfortunately, most people don’t exhibit any signs or symptoms of diabetic retinopathy until complications and permanent damage have already occurred. Although a regular retinal examination is your best defense, if you notice any of the following symptoms, you should visit your ophthalmologist immediately.


  • — Changes in your vision, such as blurring, seeing double or having trouble reading.
  • — Seeing spots or dark strings, known as “floaters,” in your vision.
  • — Vision problems that come and go.
  • — Difficulty distinguishing colors.
  • — Dark areas or blanks in your visual field.


The best way to avoid diabetic retinopathy is to maintain proper control of your diabetes. Although the exact cause hasn’t been determined, studies have shown that high levels of blood glucose are a contributing factor.


optomap ultra-widefield retinal images have been found to be equal to ETDRS1 in all categories. With a 200 degree optomap image, a literature review found that 66% more pathology was revealed outside the traditional field of view, allowing your doctor to potentially find signs of retinopathy that may otherwise be overlooked. To learn more about optomaps, we invite you to visit our patient section, which includes a video for you to watch. If you’re a doctor who wishes to provide your patients optomap technology to diagnose and treat diabetic retinopathy as early as possible, please view our products or contact us today.


1 Kiss et al. Comparison of ultra-widefield fluorescein angiography with the Heidelberg Spectralis® noncontact ultra-widefield module versus the Optos® optomap. Clin Ophthalmol. 2013, 389-94.

2 Data on file

Image Source: optomap