We’ve shared before that eyes can provide practitioners with signs and symptoms of a variety of systemic issues, such as chronic myelogenous leukemia and hypertension. Early last fall, researchers shared that a possible clue to detecting Alzheimer’s disease may be found through eye exams, and now, a new study reports that damaged blood vessels in the eyes could help doctors diagnose a heart-rhythm disorder called atrial fibrillation.
According to U.S. News Health, the study led by Sunil Agarwal of Johns Hopkins University followed over 10,000 middle-aged patients for about 14 years. The results of the study “found that microvascular changes – trouble in the smaller vessels of the eyes or kidneys – appeared to be linked to the presence of atrial fibrillation.”
About six of every 1,000 people monitored during the study with no microvascular disease did develop atrial fibrillation, increasing to nine out of every 1,000 people that had micro-bleeds or micro-aneurysms in the small vessels of their retinas. Those with vessel damage present in their kidneys accounted for 17 out of every 1,000 people followed in the study, increasing to 24 out of every 1,000 with damage to the vessels of the kidneys and eyes.
As we shared a few months ago, a study published in Diabetes Care comparing Optos’ nonmydriatic UWF imaging to mydriatic ETDRS 7-field photography as screening tools for DR showed UWF imaging as having an advantage in screening for DR. As Healio recently reported, UWF imaging is also considered “a viable option that may improve the efficiency of diagnostics for [DR] and diabetic macular edema.”
Jan Lammer, MD, shared at the Advanced Retinal Therapy Meeting that in addition to the standard methods of assessment and follow up for DR and diabetic macular edema (DME) – which include fluorescein angiography, fundus photography and others – Optos’ UWF imaging was utilized in a study of 206 eyes of 103 patients. Optos’ UWF imaging was used because it allowed practitioners to “detect peripheral alterations of the retina that would otherwise go undetected.”
The study compared the results of UWF imaging with conventional non-mydriatic fundus photography (NMFP). While the UWF images identified similar results in terms of rates and severity of DR as NMFP, it also “identified additional peripheral lesions” in over 24 percent of patients, which Lammers said may have indicated more severe cases of retinopathy severity grading in about …
With glaucoma affecting as many as 4 million people in the U.S. alone and thousands upon thousands more around the world, it’s important for practitioners to be diligent in making sure patients understand their risk factors, as well as providing proper screenings to detect, diagnose, and monitor the condition.
In New York, Sanjeev Nath, M.D., had a 37-year-old female patient come in for an exam. She had a 20-year history of an “untreatable” retinal degeneration. At that time, she used high plus reading glasses and, with difficulty, was able to read magazine print from 4-inches. The patient felt her vision was worsening and also was experiencing difficulty seeing at night.
The patient’s vision was 10/400 in each eye unaided, and Goldmann IOP’s were 23 OD and 24 OS. An exam with a fundus with a slit lamp provided the explanation for her visual difficulties, and additional testing performed revealed Pachymetry to be 498u OD and 505u OS. Threshold fields showed the patient’s central Scotomas at about 12×15 degrees in size with erratic fixation. Her flash ERGs were normal.
While many may feel that children have excellent vision simply because they are young and healthy, eye care professionals know better. With research showing between 5 and 10 percent of preschool aged children being affected by a vision impairment and 1 in 4 school-aged children having a vision impairment, several organizations dedicated to eye and vision health have declared 2014 as the Year of Children’s Vision.
The Year of Children’s Vision (YOCV) is a joint initiative formed by Prevent Blindness America (PBA), PBA’s National Center for Children’s Vision and Eye Health, the National Head Start Association and other like-minded groups. The goal of the initiative is to help standardize the approach early childhood care and education programs take toward vision screenings for young children. Another goal is to make improvements in follow-up care for those that don’t pass vision screenings and providing educational materials for families, among others.
Hugh R. Parry, president and CEO of PBA, said of the YOCV initiative:
“Our children depend on their eyes to learn and view the world around them. They also depend on us to make sure they have healthy vision and can reach their full potential. With this new, comprehensive program …
While performing what was expected to be a demonstrative optomap eye exam, a Wellingborough optician noticed an unusual hole in his son’s retina. Dr. Bob Halsey, owner of Halsey Opticians, credits optomap with showing him the “suspicious hole” in his son’s retina.
Upon the discovery, Dr. Halsey sent his son, Alex, to Northhampton General Hospital. There, a specialist used the optomap images to pinpoint the location of the hole. Afterwards, Alex was sent to surgery to repair it. Dr. Halsey says without having such technology in his practice, the discovery and diagnosis of the hole in Alex’s retina wouldn’t have been possible, which could have led to further issues.
“A conventional eye test wouldn’t have spotted the hole, as it was in the periphery of the retina, which can’t be seen without a more in-depth examination,” Dr. Halsey shared. “We’re hopeful that the surgery has been successful and will continue to monitor Alex’s eye health with our optomap.”
Following this experience, all patients at Halsey Opticians are now offered an optomap as a part of the practice’s advanced eye testing.
As we have shared before, glaucoma cases continue to rise here in the U.S., as well as in other parts of the world. New estimates from the National Eye Institute suggest as many as 4 million people in the U.S. suffer from this eye disease and that half of those individuals aren’t even aware of it.
Prevent Blindness America expects these numbers to continue to grow as America’s population of older adults increases. And as the number of glaucoma cases grow, so does the cost of treatment. Glaucoma is said to cost about $5.8 billion annually, with individuals paying as much as $2,170 for treatment. Since January is Glaucoma Awareness Month, it’s time once again to help your patients understand whether or not they are at risk of developing this condition, which is the second leading cause of blindness in the world, and what they can do to prevent it.
Below are a few facts patients should be aware of regarding glaucoma:
– Typically, there are symptoms of glaucoma. Vision loss is first experienced in peripheral vision and is usually noticed once the condition becomes severe. – There are two main types of glaucoma, open-angle and …