Talking to your patients about the dangers of blue-violet light is becoming more important as their exposure increases due to the continued use of digital gadgets and other devices. With that in mind, Think About Your Eyes UK recently started the “seeing blue” campaign to raise patient awareness of the damage exposure to blue-violet light can cause to their eyesight in this age of extensive screen usage and LED lighting.
Since deteriorating vision can happen over time and is often painless, your patients may not understand the damage their exposure to blue-violet light can cause. Macular degeneration is on the rise and it is largely being attributed to increased time being spent in front of computers and other screens for work and play.
One of the reasons blue-violet light is being attributed to the rise in macular degeneration is because melanin production decreases as we age. For your patients, this means their natural eye protection from these light sources is diminished, but their exposure is still increasing. Some of your patients may not be aware that there are specialty glasses that can reduce the damage to their vision from prolonged screen usage or fluorescent lighting.
Other talking points that will …
With April being Women’s Eye Health and Safety Month, it’s not only important to educate women about their increased risk for eye disease and vision impairment – it’s also important to use this time to inform them of how to keep their eyes and vision in optimum condition. Since most women are unaware of the gender-specific vision risks, they may also be ill informed of the things that may help mitigate future problems.
The following are several suggestions you may wish to discuss with your female patients:
— Although proper nutrition and a healthy lifestyle are critical in limiting the effects of age-related vision problems, such as AMD and cataracts, there are supplements that may be beneficial to help support eye health. The Age-Related Eye Disease Study (AREDS) performed in 2001 showed some supplements may slow the progression of some diseases. — Maintaining a healthy body weight is essential to eye health. Obesity contributes to diseases such as diabetes, which may result in conditions like diabetic retinopathy. This may also increase the risks of AMD and cataracts. — Advise your patients to invest in a good pair of sunglasses and to wear them regularly to protect their eyes from harmful UVA and UVB …
With more than 5 million comprehensive patient records currently on file, the AmericanAcademy of Ophthalmology (AAO) has recently announced the official launch of the Intelligent Research in Sight (IRIS™) registry. This is the nation’s first comprehensive registry of eye diseases and conditions and is designed to help improve patient care, comply with federal payment programs and enhance practice efficiency and quality using statistical analysis and aggregated data.
According to AAO CEO David W. Parke II, MD, “This is a watershed moment for the field of ophthalmology.” IRIS™ allows for evidence-based diagnostics harnessing the power of millions of pieces of clinical data saving significant time over traditional resources employed just 10 years ago.
You will be able to use IRIS™ to monitor and track patient care with its sub-specialty modules, apply variables such as demographics, pre-existing conditions and more to effectively assess possible outcomes for conditions such as AMD, cataract surgery, retinal surgery and diabetic retinopathy. Not only will this put innovative tools literally at your fingertips to improve speed and accuracy of diagnostics; it will allow you to strategically plan for better patient outcomes which will aid you in achieving excellence in your practice.
A case series recently published in the Canadian Journal of Ophthalmology reported that UWF fluorescein angiography (FA) revealed far-peripheral vascular pathology (including vasculitis and vascular occlusion) in all four patients with peripheral retinal vasculitis, information on the extent of the disease that would not have been obtained with a fundus examination and traditional FA. The authors suggest that UWF-FA is useful in patients with uveitis for determining appropriate follow-up intervals, categorization of uveitis, and treatment evaluation, even in eyes with minimal pathology.
Hong BK, Khanamiri HN, Rao NA. Role of ultra-widefield fluorescein angiography in the management of uveitis. Can J Ophthalmol. 2013; 48: 489-493.
Recruiting 406 healthy subjects from a college population, researchers performed eye examinations, including Optos UWF retinal imaging, to determine the prevalence of choroidal nevi. Analysis of the optomap® images revealed that 39 subjects (10%) presented with at least one nevus, with multiple nevi appearing unilaterally in eight subjects. The researchers concluded that the higher prevalence observed compared to other population-based studies resulted from their ability to image up to 200° of the fundus with the Optos system. The clinical significance of choroidal nevi is related to their rare potential to transform into malignant choroidal melanoma.
Gordon-Shaag A, Barnard S, Millodot M, et al. Prevalence of choroidal naevi using scanning laser ophthalmoscope. Ophthalmic Physiol Opt. 2014; 34: 94-101.
In a preliminary study presented at ARVO last year, researchers demonstrated a novel technique for managing extensive peripheral retinal ischemia and subsequently mitigating rebound edema while preserving most peripheral vision. Using UWF-FA to identify areas of nonperfusion in each quadrant and then importing this information into their panretinal laser system allowed the investigators to effectively navigate PRP treatment in the periphery. A larger, prospective study to evaluate the integrated use of the Optos 200Tx with a panretinal laser for the management of retinal ischemia and rebound edema is now underway.
Surapaneni K, Singer M, Tan C, Sadda S. Widefield angiography-navigated panretinal photocoagulation in the management of retinal ischemia and rebound edema. Poster presented at Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology Annual Meeting, Seattle, WA. May 5-9, 2013.
With the peripheral retina being the location of pathology for lots of ocular diseases, such as diabetic retinopathy, chorodial masses and vasculitis, the need for advanced imaging technology is a must. As Matthew T. Witmer, MD, and Szilárd Kiss, MD, of New York City shared with Review of Ophthalmology, even though the “gold standard” for a complete retinal exam was once considered a dilated exam with indirect ophthalmoscopy and occasional scleral depression, advances in technology are making the process of evaluating and documenting the retinal periphery through photography a more practical way to conduct an exam in clinical environments.
The duo discussed four technologies that “permit imaging of the retinal periphery in a practical manner,” including Optos’ ultra-widefield (UWF) retinal imaging technology. They compared the four technologies with traditional fundus photography from The Diabetic Retinopathy Study. In that study, traditional lenses were used to capture images of the posterior pole, with the ability to fuse multiple images into a montage. The image created only covered a field of view about 75 degrees wide.
Optos’ imaging technology, on the other hand, produces images capable of a 200 degree field of view, which is equivalent to about 82.5 percent of …
Sports-related eye injuries are a leading cause of blindness in school-age children and are attributed to more than 31,000 eye injuries for all age groups yearly, according to a fact sheet provided by Prevent Blindness. During April, which is Sports Eye Safety Month, we recommend you remind your patients to wear proper eye protection while participating in sports, as 90 percent of these injuries can be avoided.
Since different sports pose risk of different types of serious eye injury, there’s no one-size-fits-all solution for protective eye wear. It’s important that patients (or their parents) are aware of the risk of eye injury their chosen sport exposes them to, as well as what type of safety equipment works best to prevent injuries.
Baseball, basketball, contact sports and racquet sports are the most likely to cause sports-related eye injuries across all age groups. However, injuries can occur in more sedentary activities as well. Some tips you may want to share with your patients include:
— For sports like baseball, football and hockey, helmets with polycarbonate shields or optional wire shields for hockey players are recommended. — Those who play basketball and soccer should also use protective eyewear made with polycarbonate lenses and certified as …
From the moment a patient steps into your practice, there are a number of factors that will have an impact on their experience. From the greeting they receive at the receptionist’s desk to the length of their wait, nearly everything about your practice can create a lasting impression on your patients. All of these factors can either help calm nervous feelings about their visit or make them worse, right down to the colors of the walls!
While a patient may not realize the subliminal effect of colors, its one practitioners and practice managers should certainly understand. To put your patients at ease and give them a positive perception of your office when the step through the doorway, consider the following color strategies:
— The reception area will be a patient’s first impression of your practice, so it’s important to use colors that will create a favorable impression and make them feel comfortable in this area. Blues and greens are generally associated with calming and soothing feelings, which are great for reception and waiting areas. A hint of pink can also be used, as this color is often associated with compassion. — If your practice specializes in cancers that affect the …
In a survey conducted by Harris Poll in January 2014, it was found that 91 percent of women are not aware that they are at greater risk than men of developing an eye disease that can lead to permanent vision loss. With such an astonishing number, it’s critical that practitioners take advantage of Women’s Eye Health and Safety Month in April to inform female patients of their potential risk.
Statistics have shown that women are 66 percent more likely to suffer blindness than men. Women account for 61 percent of cataract diagnoses as well as 65 percent of age-related macular degeneration (AMD) cases. Diseases such as glaucoma and vision impairment due to refractive error are also significantly higher in women. Most of these diseases develop in older adults.
With age and hormonal changes being key factors in the development of eye diseases, the fact that women have longer life expectancies and are more susceptible to hormonal change than men is a major cause of the increased risks. Declining estrogen levels in postmenopausal women and fluctuating hormones during pregnancy can also lead to changes in vision and cause issues such as dry eye. Women that develop gestational diabetes should have their vision …