Retina Today’s 2013 Eyetube Ophthalmic Imaging Central Contest

Posted on Jul 31, 2013 by

Retina Today is running a contest to find the cover image for their September 2013 issue! This is your chance to land the cover of an important ophthalmic publication. All ophthalmic photographers and clinicians are invited to enter the 2013 Eyetube Ophthalmic Imaging Central Contest now through August 5, 2013 for their chance to win and get their image on the cover. Finalists will be announced later in August before a final winner is selected.


For this contest, Retina Today is looking for “striking digital images of posterior segment disease states.” The magazine’s editors are specifically interested in images that feature “hallmark symptoms” or those that present a difficult and challenging diagnosis, such as the following:

–          Chorodial Neovascularization

–          Retinal Detachment

–          Diabetic Macular Edema

–          Retinal Vein Occlusion

–          Ocular Tumor

–          Macular Telangiectasia

Ophthalmic photographers and clinicians are welcome to submit multiple images to illustrate the case in point, but please identify which image you’d like to be considered for the cover art of the magazine. Images can be taken with any imaging device. Ophthalmic photographers and clinicians can also submit as many entries as they wish. All images deemed eligible will be posted on the Eyetube …


How Digital Gadgets Affect Our Eyes

Posted on Jul 29, 2013 by

How much time do you spend in front of a screen each day? According to a survey of American adults conducted by The Vision Council, over one-third of adults admitted to spending between four and six hours a day using a digital gadget of some sort. The report of the survey’s findings, “Screens, Phones, Tablets and More: Keeping Your Eyes Safe in a Digital Age,” further revealed that 14 percent of adults said they spend as much as 12 hours a day using such devices.


While those statistics are hard to swallow, what doctors find even more troubling is that patients are often unaware of the adverse affects all that screen time can have on their eyes, both now and later on in life. A major point of concern for practitioners is digital eye strain.


Digital eye strain is a result of the constant need for the eyes to “refocus and reposition to process content like graphics and text” on digital devices. As many as 70 percent of American adults have experienced a form of it, but more than 70 percent aren’t even aware that they could suffer from digital eye strain, the study revealed. The condition usually …


Investing in High-Tech Instruments to Grow Your Practice

Posted on Jul 27, 2013 by

Since launching our blog, we’ve shared several strategies for investing in the growth of your optometry or ophthalmology practice, such as how to improve digital communication with patients and the how to keep staff members engaged and motivated. However, a recent edition of Optometric Minute on the Review of Optometric Business website outlines another way to invest in the success of your practice – by purchasing the latest, most cutting edge instruments.


In the video, Richard Baker, OD, of Lamorinda Optometry in Lafayette, California provides insight into what practitioners should take into consideration when selecting instruments for their practices. He says that practitioners should “first, study the data to ensure that a new piece of equipment is effective,” stressing that It’s important to understand the clinical value it will bring to your practice before you buy.


Dr. Baker shares the example of when his practice purchased a scanning laser ophthalmoscope (SLO). After thoroughly reviewing the data, they were confident that the machine would in fact present “a new and novel way” to quickly evaluate the retina. They later learned it was just as effective as a fundus camera for monitoring diabetic retinal changes, making it a perfect fit …


Key Nutrients for Healthy Aging Eyes

Posted on Jul 25, 2013 by

All healthcare professionals must encourage patients to live a healthy lifestyle and maintain a balanced diet. Eye healthcare professionals, specifically, should make sure patients are getting the right types and amounts of vitamins and other nutrients to support eye health. As a recent email update from EyeWorld reminded us, this is especially important for your patients over the age of 50.


EyeWorld cites a review published in the Journal of Clinical Interventions in Aging that says, “Many Americans over the age of 50 do not consume enough key nutrients to support ocular health.” According to a press release on the review, nutrition researcher Elizabeth Johnson, Ph.D., and Helen Rasmussen, Ph.D., R.D. of Lesley University along with other researchers, in an effort to link specific nutrients to eye health as people age, identified antioxidants vitamins C and E, lutein, zeaxanthin, zinc and the omega-3 fatty acids eicosahexaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) among the most important nutrients for protecting aging eyes. This was concluded using data from several surveys, including one from the Ocular Nutrition Society, which revealed 78 percent of adults between the ages of 45 and 65 consider vision as the most important of their senses, but …


Optos UWF image-assisted eye exam detects more retinal pathology

Posted on Jul 19, 2013 by

Adding optomap® to a traditional fundus examination enhances detection of retinal pathology compared to traditional ophthalmoscopy. In research published in Eye and Brain, investigators evaluated the benefit Optos UWF-image assisted fundus examination in 339 eyes (including patients with a history of ocular findings and patients with no known eye disease). The additional information provided by the optomap helped identify 30% more retinal lesions than the traditional dilated exam alone. Differences between UWF and traditional ophthalmoscopy were adjudicated by a retinal specialist, revealing a statistically significant advantage for UWF in detecting pathological changes in the posterior pole/macula and the mid-to-peripheral retina.


Brown K, Sewell JM, Trempe C, Peto T, Travison TG. Comparison of image-assisted versus traditional fundus examination. Eye and Brain. 2013; 5:1-8.



The Increasing Role of UWF Imaging for Retinal Care

Posted on Jul 16, 2013 by

Research continues to show the increasing role of ultra-widefield imaging in retinal care. An article previously published in Retina Today emphasized not only the importance of advanced technology in the field of UWF imaging, but also how it’s currently being used to treat and diagnose issues. It also discussed what the future holds for UWF imaging.


Advanced UWF technologies provide practitioners with a much wider view of the retina than a traditional fundus camera. This wider field of view, up to 200 degrees, provides practitioners a better chance of detecting an eye or systemic issue in its earliest stages, which can often lessen the impact the issue will have on a patient’s vision and health. Advanced UWF technologies, such as Optos’ optomap exam, also help practitioners monitor methods of treatment for issues that have been diagnosed.


As for the use of UWF imaging as a diagnostic tool, Retina Today shares one case study in which a man with uncontrolled type 2 diabetes came in for a retinal evaluation. A traditional 7 standard field ETDRS photograph was taken, which revealed mild nonproliferative diabetic retinopathy changes. However, an optomap UWF fluorescein angiography was also taken and it revealed extensive peripheral nonperfusion …


UV Exposure: Are You Reminding Patients to Guard Their Eyes?

Posted on Jul 12, 2013 by

As an eyecare professional, you’re well aware of how the sun’s UV rays can damage eyes if proper precautions are not taken. And while your patients are probably well-aware of the damaging effects of UV rays on skin, do they know the dangers their eyes face without proper protection?


According to a study conducted earlier this year by The Vision Council, 40 percent of adults in the United States don’t wear sunglasses when outdoors, revealing what’s been described as “a large disconnect between what Americans say they do to protect their eyes versus what they actually do when outside or behind the wheel.”


With that information in mind, it’s a good idea to send a reminder to patients about the dangers of overexposing their eyes to sunlight, not just in the summer but all year long. Those dangers include an increased risk of skin cancers of the eyelid, such as basal cell carcinoma, squamous cell carcinoma, and melanoma. Overexposure can also increase the risk of cataracts, macular degeneration, and benign growths of the conjunctiva (The Skin Cancer Foundation). Finally, it can result in photokeratitis, or sun burn of the cornea, which can be both painful and frightening.




British Scientists Discover a New Layer of the Cornea

Posted on Jul 10, 2013 by

Scientists at the United Kingdom’s University of Nottingham made a huge discovery recently, finding a new layer of the cornea. As Daily Mail reported, this is “a breakthrough experts say could ‘rewrite the ophthalmology textbooks,’” and “could help surgeons dramatically improve outcomes for patients undergoing corneal grafts and transplants.”


According to EyeWorld’s weekly email newsletter, the new layer of the cornea has been named “Dua’s layer,” after Harminder Dua, who made the discovery. Dua is a professor of ophthalmology and visual sciences at the University of Nottingham. The new layer is located at the back of the cornea, in between the corneal stroma and Descemet’s membrane, and is only about 15 microns thick, which could be the reason “nobody had ever spotted it” (MSN). Despite its thinness, Dua’s layer has shown to be quite tough, with the ability to withstand up to two bars of pressure (Medical News Today).


Dua and his colleagues discovered the new layer of the cornea by injecting air bubbles into eyes donated for research. The air bubbles were injected to separate various layers of the cornea. This allowed the scientists to scan the layers using an electron microscope in order to study the …


Optos UWF imaging technology offers the widest view of the retina

Posted on Jul 08, 2013 by

A study comparing the UWFFA imaging capabilities of the Optos 200Tx and a recently introduced module-based system confirms that the optomap® provides the widest field of view. Results published in Clinical Ophthalmology demonstrated that both systems provided excellent imaging of the peripheral retina although the Optos optomap covered at least 50% more retinal surface area with a single, non-steered shot and provided a wider view of the retina temporally and nasally, with the comparator system providing greater visualization of the peripheral vasculature of the superior and inferior retina.


Witmer MT, Parlitsis G, Patel S, Kiss S. Comparison of ultra-widefield fluorescein angiography with the Heidelberg Spectralis noncontact ultra-widefield module versus the Optos optomap. Clinical Ophthalmology. 2013; 7: 389-394.



Tips for Getting & Keeping Staff Engaged

Posted on Jul 02, 2013 by

Do you ever feel as though your staff is less inspired about their work or somewhat detached from the practice? If so, you’re not alone. As Ophthalmology Management recently reported, a study conducted by Towers Watson revealed that 65 percent of the global workforce feels “unsupported, detached or disengaged.”


Staff engagement is an extremely important aspect of any medical practice. In response to Watson’s findings, Dana Jacoby, senior consultant with BSM Consulting, says that practitioners who don’t make time for getting staff members more involved and engaged could be making a huge mistake. Employee engagement, or lack thereof, can significantly affect staff retention rates, employee satisfaction and productivity.


So how can you get your staff engaged and keep them engaged? Jacoby offers four strategies for creating an effective staff engagement plan.

Base your plan on a common vision that “reflects a unified purpose and joint values.” Most practices do this in the form of a mission statement. Provide employees with an environment that fosters teamwork while making sure employees find purpose and satisfaction. Recognize your staff regularly for their contributions to the success of the practice or simply to show your appreciation for their hard work and dedication …