New Study Reveals the Economic Cost of Blindness in Europe

Posted on Oct 31, 2013 by

October 10th marked World Sight Day, a day where the international health community banded together to raise awareness around blindness as a public health issue. The European Forum Against Blindness (EFAB) used World Sight Day to further emphasize the importance of comprehensive eyecare for all in order to reduce costs associated with blindness and other vision issues. They released their findings in a six-country study analyzing the economic impact of blindness.

The study revealed that eye diseases and blindness currently cost the European society about 20 billion Euros. Optometry Today further reported that the estimated cost of blindness alone to the six countries in the EFAB study is 7 billion Euros annually, while day-to-day care for those suffering from blindness account for the rest of the associated costs. The study echoes what many eye care professionals in Europe and the US have been saying for a few years now: the best way to offset the cost of 20 billion Euros is to create a comprehensive intervention plan.


The EFAB is among many groups working diligently towards making blindness a public health priority, due to how costly the issue is to the European society. In order to decrease the cost, …


How Your Office can Communicate Your Technology

Posted on Oct 29, 2013 by

As we shared several weeks ago, the appearance of your office will send a message to your patients. In a recent segment of Optometric Minute, Eric White, OD, of Complete Family Eyecare Center in San Diego, Calif., shares that using various aspects of your office and practice to communicate a message to patients about the technology used in your practice is a must.


For his own practice, Dr. White shares that he wants his office to communicate to patients “the overall presence of technology” and professionalism in a manner that lets them know they will be taken care of, along with their visual and eye health needs. Dr. White accomplishes this by doing the following:


Showing technology upfront, so that patients can see that the highest quality of care is available for their needs. In Dr. White’s case, he shows patients the technology of what he’s prescribing for their eyewear. Showing what can happen to a patient’s eyes by displaying artwork and other articles throughout the practice’s waiting areas and hallways. Explaining and showing patients the medical process by discussing their individual pathologies and medical conditions, so they understand the diagnosis. Including a retinal exam as a part …


Advanced Technology & Instrumentation Aids in Presentation of Eye Pathologies

Posted on Oct 28, 2013 by

As we’ve shared before, advanced technology and instrumentation are huge assets to practitioners because they not only help ensure a patient’s eyes are healthy, but also because such advanced equipment can detect potentially serious vision and medical conditions in their earliest stages. In doing so, a patient’s risk of going blind or becoming extremely ill is averted because treatment options can be presented much earlier on.


Review of Optometric Business recently shared three case studies in which Ed Liu, OD, of Foothills Optometric Group in Pleasanton, California, shared how an OCT scan and retinal imaging through an optomap® helped detect signs of macular degeneration, retinal detachment and leukemia.


In the first case, Dr. Liu was unable to achieve 20/20 vision with the patient. This led him to complete an OCT scan, which allowed him to look at the patient’s optic nerve and retina. With this scan, Dr. Liu was able to detect drusen and other early signs of macular degeneration on a microscopic level that other devices would not be able to detect. Cases like this have paved the way for his five-doctor practice to use the OCT on a daily basis, allowing them to spot pathologies very …


Using Electronic Health Records for Better Doctor-Patient Relations

Posted on Oct 27, 2013 by

Many eyecare practitioners have patients that have been with them for years or have conditions that may require more frequent exams, which can make the patient’s records seem to stretch on for miles. And unfortunately, traditional forms of record keeping can make it extremely easy to overlook an important part of the patient’s health that needs to be discussed. As Palmer N. Lee, OD of EYEcenter Optometric recently shared with Review of Optometric Business, it helps to have “a record at your fingertips prompting you to talk about these things with each patient. That’s what electronic records do in the exam room…”


Dr. Lee elaborates on that point, sharing that by keeping electronic health records, he can quickly identify previous issues, such as past diagnoses and patient complaints, which can be used to start deep conversations that “facilitate enhanced interaction” between a doctor and patient. To prepare for these conversations, Dr. Lee’s staff enters all medical information into each patient’s records prior to the exam, as well as information about the reason for the visit, acuities, retinal images and other facts. This way, Dr. Lee can review the information and be fully prepared for the patient’s visit. He advises …


Encourage Use of Protective Eyewear During Eye Injury Prevention Month

Posted on Oct 25, 2013 by

According to Prevent Blindness America and the AmericanAcademy of Ophthalmology, over 2.5 million eye injuries occur in the U.S. each year. Of those injuries, about 50,000 people are left with some form of permanent vision loss. For eyecare practitioners, those are very sobering numbers considering that up to 90 percent of these injuries could be prevented with the right protective gear.

Since October is Eye Injury Prevention Month, we want to take this time to encourage practitioners to take some time to remind patients of the importance of wearing proper protective eyewear. From household tasks to sports and work, there are a number of eye injury hazards your patients may not be aware of, and it is up to you to help them understand what they can do to avoid unnecessary eye injuries and vision loss.


Nearly half of all eye injuries occur at home, according to Get Eye Smart, and approximately 125,000 of these injuries involve common household cleaners. Patients should be reminded to wear safety glasses, goggles or face shields that meet the appropriate safety standards to protect their eyes not only from chemical-related injuries, but also injuries that could result from using lawn maintenance equipment, power …


3D Wrap™ Allows Practitioners to Give Patients a “Tour” of Their Eye

Posted on Oct 22, 2013 by

Ask any doctor who has been practicing for many years, and they’ll probably agree that educating patients on a particular diagnosis is one of the best things you can do to help them understand what’s going on with their body and to improve adherence to treatment plans or ongoing visits. At Optos, we not only believe in providing practitioners with the resources to educate their patients, but also to show a patient exactly what they see in an retina exam. One of those tools is our innovative and interactive 3D Wrap™ tool.


3D Wrap™ allows practitioners to give patients a virtual tour of their eye, showing them where the retina is located and providing the opportunity to explain other parts of the eye. This is done by creating an animated 3D Wrap™ sequence of an optomap image, displayed as a 3-dimensional graphic model of their eye. Other features 3D Wrap™ is able to simulate include the following:


– The patient’s iris color from capture settings – Refractive errors range from -10D to +5D, including the ability to demonstrate myopia and hyperopia through simulation of the shape of the model eye – Demonstrating how myopia and hyperopia affect the patient’s vision by …


optomap® Images Shared on JAMA Ophthalmology Facebook Page

Posted on Oct 16, 2013 by

We were pleased to see the ultra-widefield retinal images captured through optomap technology featured on the JAMA Ophthalmology Facebook page recently. According to a case study, the images were captured in the exam of a 25-year-old man who had experienced bilateral blurred vision for a few weeks.

An optomap exam helped reveal the cause of his blurred vision – acute posterior multifocal placoid pigment epitheliopahty (APMPPE) in both eyes. Ultra-widefield (UWF™) imaging, as well as other exams, presented results characteristic of funduscopic findings. Images captured at both the initial and follow-up exams revealed three types of lesions on the patient’s eyes:


White on color photos, hypofluorescent early and isofluorescent late on fluorescein angiography (FA), as well as isoautofluorescent on fundus autofluorescence (FAF) – These lesions were primarily located anterior to the baseline, and diminished later on. White lesions on color photos, hypofluorescent early and staining late on FA, as well as hypoautofluorescent on FAF – These lesions eventually became atrophic. Pigmented lesions on color photos, hypofluorescent early and late on FA, as well as hyperautofluorescent on FAF – Initially, these lesions were located at the margins of the placoid lesions in the left eye, while occurring more centrally in …


AutoCapture Now Available with Daytona Ultra-widefield Devices

Posted on Oct 14, 2013 by

We know it can be hard to capture an image of a patient’s retina because they aren’t able to sit still or hold a certain position. To make the retina evaluation easier for eye care professionals, we’re pleased to share some information about the latest feature available with our Daytona Ultra-widefield imaging device – AutoCapture.

As we’ve shared before, Daytona offers a number of practical benefits for practitioners who use UWF™ imaging capabilities, including state-of-the-art technology to help with practice differentiation and positioning, as well as a fast exam suitable for all ages. With the AutoCapture feature, practitioners can capture images automatically and hands-free. The system detects when a patient has reached an optimal position for imaging and initiates the UWF imaging process. The images captured in 0.4 seconds are then saved or discarded using the same steps currently used with Daytona devices.


Additionally, AutoCapture provides some significant improvements for scenarios in which the technician performing the exam prefers to physically guide the patient’s head into position for imaging. For instance, the technician will no longer need to release the patient’s head to tap the tablet in order to capture the image. AutoCapture also has a positive impact on …


October 10th is World Sight Day

Posted on Oct 10, 2013 by

Here at Optos, we strive to provide eyecare practitioners with a variety of resources to help them provide patients with the best quality care possible. With that in mind, our hope is to help eradicate unnecessary blindness all around the world. That’s why we’re supporters of observances that place an emphasis on the importance of eye health, like World Sight Day.

World Sight Day is October 10th. The theme for this year’s observance is “Universal Eye Health,” which aligns with the International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness (IAPB) goal of increasing access to comprehensive eye exams and services by integrating them into other healthcare systems. The organization is encouraging eyecare practitioners to remind patients, as well as the general public, to “Get Your Eyes Tested,” offering the reminder that eye exams are the first step in diagnosing and treating nearly all eye conditions, as well as other systemic diseases.


In addition to encouraging eye exams, there are many agencies working hard to raise funds for those suffering from unnecessary blindness or vision issues caused by uncorrected refractive error through the World Sight Day Challenge. The challenge raises money for projects that offer trainings, create vision centers, and provide …


Optos Ultra-widefield fluorescein angiography in FEVR and Coats’ disease

Posted on Oct 08, 2013 by

Familial exudative vitreoretinopathy (FEVR) and Coats’ disease, both pediatric retinal diseases that involve the peripheral retina, can be evaluated in the physician’s office using ultra-widefield fluorescein angiography (UWFFA). As reported in Journal of Pediatric Ophthalmology and Strabismus, a retrospective review  of 8 patient cases confirmed the utility of UWFFA in targeting laser photocoagulation, administered in an outpatient setting without the use of anesthesia. Furthermore, as has been shown in adults, UWFFA revealed peripheral retinal pathology, that can be difficult or impossible to visualize with conventional imaging techniques. The investigators concluded that UWFFA is useful in identifying peripheral retinal pathologies in pediatric patients, guiding management, which may potentially reduce delays in diagnosis and treatment.


Kang KB, Wessel MW, Tong J, D’Amico DJ, Chan P. Ultra-widefield imaging for the management of pediatric retinal diseases. JPediatric Ophthalmol Strabismus. 2013. [Epub ahead of print]

Clinical Point-of-View


“The availability of Optos UWF imaging is helping us improve the diagnosis and management of pediatric retinal disease, in both babies and older children. With these systems we can now readily obtain non-contact, single-pass high resolution digital images of the macula and periphery in an outpatient setting without the use of anesthesia or intravenous fluorescein. Even with patients who would not be able to cooperate with conventional imaging techniques, UWF imaging permits the identification of pathology in the periphery we might otherwise …