See you at Javits for Vision Expo East (VEE) 2019!

We can’t wait to see you this year as VEE kicks off, March 21-24 at the Javits Convention Center in downtown NYC. During VEE 2019, you’ll have the opportunity to obtain CE credits at events like the March Mania Imaging Track, learn techniques to improve your practice and get access to cutting-edge products and services, such as the ONLY true ultra-widefield retinal image, optomap. VEE also presents an excellent opportunity to network and socialize with eyecare experts and explore New York City, such as the ones that will be available in our booth, MS4849.

We encourage you to find out what’s new at Optos by pre-scheduling your demonstration or stop by our booth at your convenience. Since last year’s conference, we have continued to develop hardware and software platforms to offer new ways to enhance clinical exams.

If you have any questions about our UWF retinal imaging or our offerings at VEE, please call 1-800-854-3039 or email. We look forward to seeing you at the show!

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.

Top Tips for Eye Safety this Holiday and Winter Season

Top Tips for Eye Safety this Holiday and Winter Season

With the holiday season upon us, it’s important to note the extra care we need to take to make sure the toys and gifts our children receive are safe and age-appropriate.  For this reason, Prevent Blindness America has declared December “Safe Toys and Gifts Awareness Month”.

In 2017, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission reported an estimated 240,000 toy-related injuries treated in United States hospital emergency departments, with an estimated 80,100 of these injuries on children younger than five. 45% of the total injuries were to the head and face area. These statistics show that consumers should keep eye safety in mind when shopping for kids this holiday season. To help them do that, Prevent Blindness has complied some important tips for ensuring safety while shopping.

Look at every toy before you buy it. Is the toy durable? Can it stand the wear and tear of everyday use without breaking, cracking or coming apart? Does it shoot objects or have sharp edges? Toys that fail these tests should be reconsidered.

Before you purchase a toy:

  • Read all warnings and instructions on the box.
  • Ask yourself if the toy is right for your child’s ability and age.
  • Avoid purchasing toys with sharp or rigid points, spikes, rods, or dangerous edges.
  • Buy toys that will withstand impact and not break into dangerous shards.
  • Look for the letters “ASTM.” This designation means the product meets the national safety standards set by ASTM International.
  • Avoid toys that shoot or include parts that fly off.

 

Aside from the holidays, there are certain winter precautions to take involving eye protection and safety.  Protecting your eyes from the sun’s UV rays is just as important in January as it is in July. It is a common misconception that eye damage cannot occur during the winter months. Sun exposure can increase the development of cataracts, and cause growths on the eye regardless of the season.

The sun can have a vividly harsh reflection off the snow in the winter and it’s critical to take the necessary precautions in protecting yourself and your children.  Hats, sunscreen, goggles or other UV protective eyewear are all ways to protect your eyes from the glare of the sun, even in the winter. Studies have found that exposure to UV radiation can even be high on cloudy days with the northern hemisphere having its highest exposure at midday. Dr. Anne Sumers, a practicing ophthalmologist in Ridgewood, NJ and spokeswoman for the American Academy of Ophthalmologist states, “Sunlight reflected off the snow can actually sunburn the cornea in the winter.”

With the chill of winter just around the corner, here’s a few tips on what you can do to stay ahead of the weather and protect your eyes:

Wear sunglasses

Snowy and icy conditions double the sun’s effects as ultraviolet rays have access to your eyes from both above and as reflections off the snow. Wearing sunglasses can block 99% of UV light, therefore taking the pressure off your eyes. Many people aren’t aware that the sun’s harsh effects are not specific to sunny days.

Moisturize your eyes

If you already suffer from dry eye, its likely for you to have difficulty in keeping your eyes moist and comfortable – even in the winter. It’s important to try to use eye drops, sit farther away from heat sources, or use a humidifier to alleviate dryness in the environment for your eyes.

Use goggles during winter activities

Goggles help protect your eyes during activities where dirt, slush, snow and ice can get into your eyes while outdoors. Find goggles that either have enough room to wear UV protection sunglasses underneath them or a find a pair with UV protection already built into the goggles themselves.

If you experience discomfort with your vision when the temperatures cool off, be sure to ask your eyecare professional to include optomap in your comprehensive eye exam. optomap can help diagnose and treat early signs of eye ailments. To find a provider near you, visit www.optomap.com

http://www.visionmonday.com/latest-news/article/prevent-blindness-names-december-safe-toys-and-gifts-awareness-month/
https://www.aao.org/eye-health/news/buying-safe-toys
https://yoursightmatters.com/protect-your-e-in-the-winter/

Ultra-widefield optomap Devices Continue to Set Doctors on the Forefront of Diagnostic Capability

For as long as Dr. David Way, OD, has been in practice, he has endeavored to employ frontline technology in the care of his patients. He explains that it was because of this he was an early adopter of optomap ultra-widefield (UWF™) retinal imaging technology.  Way is a big proponent of thoroughly examining the retina and aims to help patients understand the importance of comprehensive retinal exams.  “I help them to understand that the eye is the only part of the body that we can observe nerves and blood vessels without doing a CRT or an MRI; and that when I am examining them, I am checking ocular health, as well as, indicators of issues such diabetes, glaucoma, macular degeneration or hypertension”, explains Way.

Patients often refuse to be dilated because they are in a hurry, or simply want to avoid the discomfort. An optomap image, which can be obtained in a fraction of a second through an undilated pupil, allows them to receive a retinal exam without the perceived inconvenience. Over the years at Way’s practice, Spring Klein Vision Center, the acceptance rate for optomap is over 70% which has proved to be a revenue generator and a boon to practice flow.

 

Dr. Way started out in his private practice with optomap and later upgraded his device model to the Daytona, which quickly paid for itself. Dr. Way had no intention of upgrading again until he experienced the recently released Monaco, the first and only combined UWF and OCT device.   “When I saw what Monaco could do, I was floored,” Way explains. “I just knew I had to move forward with the purchase when I saw the multi-modality capabilities of Monaco. The fact that I can pull up color, autofluorescence and OCT on both eyes, at the same time, gives me a full spectrum view of the eye. The images are incredibly clear and detailed; even in the far periphery. The decision to purchase was really a no-brainer.”

Dr. Way stresses that the ability to walk into an exam room and immediately see all three modalities represented on the screen, enables him to make a quick initial assessment of how the exam should proceed. Way asserts that optomap technology has differentiated his practice for over a decade and that Monaco will continue to set him at the forefront of diagnostic capability in his area. “Patients notice the difference. If they come in and see our updated technology – and when they see and understand their own eye for the first time, they are probably not going to return to a practice without that capability. They request optomap when they return because they want the reassurance that their eyes are fine. Monaco solidifies that we are the upper echelon of practices that have the capability to image and compare year after year. I feel comfortable and reassured that I have provided the best care possible.”  Read Dr. Way’s full practice testimonial here

Monaco produces a 200° single-capture optomap image in less than ½ second and provides cross-sectional 40° OCT views of retinal structures. Monaco enables a rapid multi-modality capture featuring color, autofluorescence and OCT scans, for both eyes, in as little as two minutes.  UWF with integrated OCT saves time, space, and minimizes patient movement.  optomap images and OCT scans are correlated to facilitate pathology examination. Color, AF, and OCT images are shown in a single, comprehensive view on a single device.

Take advantage of Section 179 tax savings (US-based only) on any Optos ultra-widefield imaging device, including Monaco.  To learn more about Monaco, other ultra-widefield devices from Optos and how you can utilize Section 179 on the purchase of any new optomap device, visit our website.

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.
Cataract
– 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.
Glaucoma
 – 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.

 

Sources:
https://www.friendsforsight.org/resources/eye-health-awareness/item/16-diabetic-eye-disease-month-november
https://nei.nih.gov/health/diabetic
https://www.visionaware.org/blog/visionaware-blog/november-is-diabetic-eye-disease-awareness-month-learn-more-about-diabetes-and-your-eyes/12
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