Ways to Help Glaucoma Patients Stay on Track

Posted on Mar 31, 2014 by

As we shared in January for Glaucoma Awareness Month, around 4 million people in the U.S. alone suffer from glaucoma, along with thousands of others around the world. It’s not only important that you discuss the signs and symptoms of this disease with your patients, but that you help those who have been officially diagnosed stay on track with maintaining their condition.


As EyeWorld reports, many cases of glaucoma “can be controlled medically,” but as many as one-third to one-half of patients don’t bother with getting their medications upon the initial diagnosis, says Dr. Louis B. Cantor of Indiana University School of Medicine, Indianapolis, citing Alan Robin, M.D. Dr. Cantor shares that educating patients is extremely important, but that’s often where the challenge lies.


To help patients better understand their condition and help them get (and stay) on track with managing glaucoma, Dr. Cantor’s practice uses 3D eye models that can be taken apart in order to explain how glaucoma affects the eyes and what parts of the eye don’t work when pressure begins to build up. He also explains how pressure can damage the eye – especially the back of the eye where the optic nerve is …


Tips for Using Social Media to Promote Your Eye Care Practice

Posted on Mar 28, 2014 by

We’ve shared before that creating profiles on social media sites like Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest are great ways to market your eye care practice. They give you a place to interact with patients and offer the added benefit of being able to reach potential patients. Plus, you’re able to share your knowledge on eye care and common vision issues in a way that’s fun for patients.


For practitioners who may just be stepping into the world of social media with their practice, the American Optometric Association has some great tips for not only using these profiles to promote your practice, but also mastering the art of social media quickly. As you’re getting started, take the following into consideration:


— Engage with your followers. Don’t just post status updates and ignore questions and comments. Listen to your audience and provide them with an answer or response anytime you can. The more you engage with them, the more they’ll come to see you as an excellent source of information.


— Share what’s happening at your practice. Did you recently receive an award? Were you published in a medical journal? Is your practice involved with a local charity? Your social sites are …


Less than Half of Those with Diabetic Macular Edema are Aware of Vision Risks

Posted on Mar 27, 2014 by

We’ve discussed many times how diabetes is a leading cause of blindness throughout the world, and, unfortunately, many people with diabetic eye diseases are unaware of how serious their risk is. According to the American Optometric Association (AOA), a new study revealed less than half of those with diabetic macular edema (DME) are aware of the risks diabetes can pose to their vision.


During the study, researchers gathered information from 798 type 2 diabetes patients from 2005 to 2008 through the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey. All patients were over the age of 40 and had undergone retinal imaging. Forty-eight of the respondents had been diagnosed with DME and they were asked through the survey “whether a physician had told them about the link between diabetes and vision problems.” Only 44.7 percent stated that they had spoken to a physician about their condition and the vision risks associated with it.


Furthermore, 46.7 percent of respondents had seen a health care provider within the past year regarding their diabetes. Just fewer than 60 percent had received an eye exam within the year prior to taking the survey. About 30 percent of those with DME reported that they had …


Surgeons in Michigan Complete First Bionic Eye Surgeries

Posted on Mar 26, 2014 by

Surgeons at the University of Michigan Kellogg Eye Center performed the first bionic eye surgeries in January, a little less than a year after the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved the Argus II retinal implant device. The Kellogg Eye Center is one of 12 facilities in the U.S. offering bionic eye surgery.


The device was designed to replicate certain functions of the retina for patients suffering from retinitis pigmentosa. While Argus II will not completely restore a patient’s vision, researchers and surgeons expect that patients “will be able to see objects, or lights in front of them,” Kellogg Eye Center surgeon Dr. Thiran Jayasundera told WZZM13.

However, those results will not be immediate. Patients must first fully recover from the implant procedure, and then doctors will activate the patient’s bionic eye. Afterwards, patients will go through one to three months of training to help them adapt to their new bionic eye and new vision capabilities. Dr. Jayasundera said the training will help each patients’ brain “learn to sort through the many impulses that are stimulated when recipients turn their head in different directions.”


Linda S., the first patient to receive the surgery, is hopeful …


Ultra-Widefield (UWF) Retinal Imaging Helps Manage Telehealth Evaluation of Diabetic Retinopathy (DR)

Posted on Mar 24, 2014 by

Earlier this year, we shared a report, which suggested UWF imaging’s potential to improve diagnostic efficiency for conditions such as DR and diabetic macular edema. In a separate study published in Diabetes Care, non-mydriatic UWF retinal imaging, in comparison to non-mydriatic fundus photography (NMFP), showed potential in improving “the efficiency of ocular telehealth programs evaluating DR and diabetic macular edema.”


According to Healio, a total of 1,633 patients with diabetes were tested for DR and diabetic macular edema with NMFP for this study, and 2,170 patients were tested for the same conditions using UWF retinal imaging. There were no significant differences in age, duration of diabetes, gender, ethnicity or insulin existed among the two groups. Non-mydriatic UWF imaging was found to show a 71% reduction in the ungradable rate and a 28% reduction in image evaluation time, with an average image evaluation time of 9.2 minutes as opposed to 12.8 minutes for NMFP.


In addition, non-mydriatic UWF imaging was found to be 4.6% better at identifying cases of DR, as well as 2.6% better at identifying the most severe, vision-threatening cases of DR.

As diabetes is a leading cause of blindness in individuals between the ages of 20 …


optomap® Exams can Help Save Lives

Posted on Mar 20, 2014 by

Usually when your patients think of their annual eye exam, receiving a potentially life-threatening diagnosis probably isn’t what they have in mind. However, as one patient can attest, the eye exam she received in 2013 saved her life.


Nakivia came to Dr. Andrew Kraft’s office in Enid, Oklahoma, for an exam about five years ago and was given information about optomap® during her appointment. Although it wasn’t covered by her insurance plan, Nakivia opted to have an optomap® so Dr. Kraft could create a baseline for comparison in future appointments. In May 2013, Nakivia received another optomap® exam to check for changes in her eye pathology.


The images captured during Nakivia’s exam in 2013 were compared with past images and revealed that her optic nerve was bending, as well as blood vessels that were hemorrhaging. She was referred to Dr. Barry Pollard, who completed a specialized MRI within four hours of Nakivia’s eye exam. The MRI revealed that Nakivia had a brain tumor, which was the cause of the bending in her optic nerve and hemorrhaging blood vessels. Doctors performed surgery and now Nakivia is alive and well and has experienced more than 50 percent improvement in her …


Daytona Customers to Receive Image Capture Software Updates

Posted on Mar 18, 2014 by

Attention Daytona customers! We’re excited to announce the latest release of our image capture software for Daytona devices. This update falls in line with our mission to improve our devices and software continually, so you can provide patients with the best level of care. The latest updates offer several benefits and enhanced features to support high quality care for patients. These benefits include the following:


— Enhanced imaging of the optic nerve head complete with automatic adjustment of gamma correction — An optimized patient alignment module, which offers improved patient alignment and image capture workflow.

We’re currently in the process of sending the updates, which will be delivered to your device automatically and will download in less than a minute. The entire process will be completed through your device’s standard shutdown and startup procedures – all you’ll need to do once the updated image capture software has been sent to your Daytona is opt to “update and shutdown” the next time you turn your device off. When doing so, wait for the status indicator to turn yellow before powering your device off. The next time you turn your Daytona on, you’ll be able to take advantage of the improved image capture …


Long-Term Use of Oral Contraceptives Could Increase the Risk of Developing Glaucoma

Posted on Mar 16, 2014 by

When patients hear the word glaucoma, they may think that if they don’t fall into the groups of individuals typically at risk for developing the disease – such as those over age 40 or individuals with diabetes – that their risk factor is minimal at best. However, research presented at last fall’s Annual Meeting of the American Academy of Ophthalmology (AAO) revealed that certain women might face an increased risk of developing glaucoma.


According to the presentation, a study produced by researchers at the University of California San Francisco, Duke University School of Medicine and China’s Third Affiliated Hospital of Nanchang University, is the first to show a connection between the long-term use of oral contraceptives and an increased risk of glaucoma. Researchers studied data collected by the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey from 2005-2008, which included information from over 3,400 women in the U.S. age 40 and older that completed the survey questions on vision and reproductive health.


The survey revealed that women who used oral contraceptives for more than three years are 2.05 times more likely to receive a diagnosis of glaucoma. According to the AAO, while “the results of the study do not speak …


March is Workplace Eye Health and Safety Month

Posted on Mar 14, 2014 by

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), thousands of people in the U.S. suffer eye injuries while on the job and will require medical attention. While most of these injuries are attributed to small particles like dust or wood chips hitting the eye, other injuries can result from a sharp object penetrating the eye or blunt force trauma, which can cause permanent vision loss or even the loss of an eye. Workers in other industries, such as health care, face the risk of coming in contact with an infectious disease if proper precautions aren’t taken.


As March is Workplace Eye Health and Safety Month, now’s the time to remind your patients of how to protect their eyes on the job. Prevent Blindness reports that as many as 90 percent of eye injuries are preventable when the proper protective gear is worn. Below are a few pointers to share with your patients in order keep their eyes safe on the job.


— Always wear safety glasses or goggles whenever eye hazards are present. If a patient has reduced vision, they should speak with their employer about whether prescription safety glasses or goggles can be provided. Some industries …


Commit to Helping Patients Save Their Sight During Save Your Vision Month

Posted on Mar 12, 2014 by

Each March, the American Optometric Association (AOA) and eye care practitioners around the world observe Save Your Vision Month. During this time, participating practitioners are encouraged to raise awareness for the importance of routine eye exams. This is also a great time to share what patients can do to maintain healthy vision throughout their life.


Helping patients save their vision and preventing unnecessary vision loss is an important part of Optos’ mission. Our mission began in the early 1990s when our founder Douglas Anderson’s then five-year-old son was diagnosed with blindness in one eye after a retinal detachment was detected far too late. Anderson’s son had been receiving regular exams, but he noticed these exams were especially uncomfortable for young children, making it nearly impossible for a practitioner to perform a thorough exam and be able to view the entire retina at once. Through this experience, Anderson set out to develop a retinal imaging product capable of producing an ultra-widefield (UWF) image of the retina that would comfortably accommodate patients of all ages and abilities.


Since the beginning Optos has introduced several UWF retinal imaging devices which incorporate our innovative optomap® technology and allows practitioners to see and …