Remind Patients that Hypertension can be Harmful to Their Eyes

Posted on May 31, 2014 by

Hypertension affects nearly 32 percent of Americans over the age of 20. Since many people don’t realize they have a problem with their blood pressure until they’ve had a cardiac event, hypertension is often known as the “silent killer.” As an eye health specialist, it is possible to detect signs of hypertension in your patients. It is also important to remind them that hypertension can be harmful to their eyes.


Since hypertension forces blood under high pressure through the cardiovascular system, it can cause ischemia due to the constriction of the arterioles of the choroid. Over time, the constriction causes damage to the eye which can range from blurred vision to blindness. Although your patients are likely aware of the life threatening or fatal consequences of hypertension, they may not be aware of the damage it can cause to their vision.


A few talking points you may wish to share with your patients during their routine eye exam may include the following:


– When asking about medical conditions, you might introduce the concept of how hypertension can affect their vision and why it’s critical to manage it properly. – Explain how increased blood pressure harms the eyes’ tiny vessels, …


AOA Releases a Quick-Reference Guide for Diabetes Care

Posted on May 30, 2014 by

As diabetes becomes more prevalent, eye care practitioners must be poised to take an expanding role in the management and care of patients with this condition. This is especially important since diabetic eye diseases can cause vision impairment or loss. The American Optometric Association has introduced a new quick-reference guide (QRG), which is a summary of the first evidence-based 83-page clinical practice guideline released.


The condensed 9-page QRG “Eye Care of the Patient with Diabetes Mellitus,” which was released earlier this year, provides a review of the material presented in the comprehensive guide for key management information for your patients. It is meant to supplement the full guide and provide you with a quick go-to reference when making clinical decisions.

The QRG includes a complete description of diabetes mellitus, risk factors, preventative measures and diagnostic criteria, as well as:


Diabetic retinal disease discussion Ocular complications other than retinal Diagnosis of vision problems Tips on scheduling Treatment suggestions for disease management Management suggestions for systemic complications Vision impairment management for patients with diabetes

The chair of the AOA Evidence-Based Optometry Committee believes this guideline is placing optometrists ahead of other healthcare practitioners in adopting evidence-based processes. The guide will prove helpful for …


Do you consider yourself a leader in the field of Ophthalmology?

Posted on May 29, 2014 by

As a leader in ophthalmology, you want to provide your patients with an excellent care experience, early detection, and prevention and treatment options, all while maintaining a balance between the clinical and business aspects of the practice. The seamless integration of cutting-edge technology such as optomap® ultra-widefield imaging can address this issue from both sides by providing a host of benefits for your practice.


Our ultra-widefield imaging devices allow you to potentially diagnose and treat a wider range of pathologies because you can see much more of the retina than you can with standard fundus photography.  The optomap offers multiple wavelength imaging, including options for color, red-free, fluorescein angiography and autofluorescence with simultaneous non-contact pole-to-periphery views of more than 80% or 200 degrees of the retina in a single capture. Using the optomap in a practice offers an excellent documentation tool, improves patient flow over traditional methods of evaluating the retina and you will be able to see more patients.

As professionals in the field of advanced technology for ophthalmologists, Optos is committed to ensuring optomap will benefit your practice and be a worthwhile long-term investment for you. We will help you integrate the technology into your …


Variations in Eye Structure May Help Detect Alzheimer’s in its Early Stages

Posted on May 27, 2014 by

With more than 26 million Americans currently suffering from Alzheimer’s (that number is expected to quadruple by 2050), early detection is critical in limiting the effects of this disease and optimizing available treatments. New research is showing that variations in eye structure may be able to detect the disease before symptoms arise.


As we’ve shared previously, the accumulation of amyloid beta protein deposits in the eye can help detect the presence of Alzheimer’s. New research being conducted by the investigators at Cedars-Sinai Regenerative Medicine Institute is showing that certain variations in eye structure may aid in early detection. Since optometrists are already a critical part of health teams in the detection of many other systemic diseases, the early detection of Alzheimer’s through eye exams would be a major breakthrough.


Researchers at Cedars-Siani studied postmortem human retinas and animal models and found that changes in the retinal pigment epithelial layer and the thickness of the choroidal layer detected by advanced imaging devices were strongly indicative of Alzheimer’s disease. Considering their findings, they have reason to believe further study may prove to be beneficial, not only in the early detection of Alzheimer’s, but possibly in the development of treatments and drug …


Improved Doctor-Patient Relationships are Important for Better Outcomes in Retinal Disease Diagnoses

Posted on May 21, 2014 by

According to Retina Today, results from the National Assessment of Adult Literacy determined that more than 75 million Americans possess rudimentary or lower skills in health literacy. This indicates that improved doctor-patient relationships are important for better outcomes in all health conditions –especially with retinal disease diagnoses.


When you work to educate your patients objectively about their condition, you’re encouraging them to work collaboratively to improve their eye health and maximize treatment options for retinal disease. This is achieved by discussing all available treatments, possible side effects, as well as the therapeutic response expected and the establishment of a timeline for the response to be attained. It’s also worth acknowledging that there may not be one single course of action that will deliver the expected outcome. In taking the time to speak to patients candidly, you’re building the trust that’s essential for a solid doctor-patient relationship. Furthermore, you are also removing unrealistic outcomes. This allows the patient’s expectations to become more aligned with what you deem appropriate.


As an eye care professional, most of the published literature available on retinal disease and its possible treatments is based on case studies and interviews about what led up to the condition. …


See More, Treat More with the 200Tx from Optos

Posted on May 19, 2014 by

As innovators in digital scanning laser technology, our patented ultra-widefield retinal imaging devices, which allow for wider views of the retina, are providing eye care professionals worldwide with the ability to potentially detect eye diseases earlier than before. optomap® exams provide support in the diagnosis, documentation, and monitoring of many eye diseases sooner and easier than traditional eye exams and technologies.


Our 200Tx device has been designed to capture 82% — or 200° — of the retina in a single capture. The optomap provides eye care professionals with advanced screening exams in less time and less invasively. In addition, the 200Tx provides multiple modality imaging including: fluorescein angiography, autofluorescence, red-free or color using blue, green and red lasers.

Designed with advanced features, the 200Tx offers many advantages that were previously impossible without ultra-widefield technology. The 200Tx is feature-rich and can provides the following benefits for your practice:

— Eye steering and annotation tools for medically necessary procedures that are reimbursable. — Ultra-widefield digital capture of the retina without pupil dilation. — Visualization of ultra-widefield autofluorescence retinal pigment epithelium (RPE). — Red, green and blue digital scanning lasers to pinpoint areas of interest. — ResMax™ for enhanced resolution of the central pole. — Immediate image availability and storage capability for …


Remind Patients to Protect their Eyes from UV Damage

Posted on May 14, 2014 by

While your patients are likely aware of the dangerous effects UVA and UVB rays can have on their skin, they often aren’t aware of how dangerous the sun is for the delicate tissues in their eyes. For many practitioners, this is the ideal season to educate patients of the potential damages the sun can cause and to encourage them to wear protective sunglasses year round.

As Prevent Blindness shares, damage to vision from UV rays can be avoided with proper eye wear. It’s essential to teach your patients that UV damage is cumulative and that preventing exposure is vital, especially if it’s not something they considered in the past. If there are no visible signs of damage thus far, using protection now may help prevent problems in the future.


To emphasize the seriousness of UV damage to eye health, it can be very helpful to share with your patients some of the conditions they might experience without proper protection. Since both types of UV light can affect different portions of the eye and its sensitive tissues, a wide array of problems can arise, including:


— Photokeratitis – more easily understood as corneal sunburn. A painful condition caused by high exposure to …


Color Blindness Most Prevalent in Preschool-Aged Caucasian Boys

Posted on May 12, 2014 by

A recent study published in the American Academy of Ophthalmology’s journal, Ophthalmology, indicates that color vision deficiency (CVD), or color blindness, is most prevalent in preschool-aged Caucasian boys. Out of 4,005 children tested in California, one in 20 Caucasian preschool males were found to have some form of CVD –the most of all ethnicities included in the study.


Researchers with the Multi-Ethnic Pediatric Eye Disease Study Group tested the children, ranging in age from 2 ½ to 4 years old, using Color Vision Testing Made Easy color plates. In addition to discovering Caucasian boys have a higher rate of color blindness; researchers found African-American males had the lowest occurrence at 1.4 percent. Color blindness in preschool-aged girls ranged from 0 to 0.5 percent across all ethnic groups represented.


Although color blindness is not a true form of blindness, it does affect outcomes for school-age children because they can’t process colors the same way others are able to. In addition to making color-based tests and activities nearly impossible for color blind children, the issue can also lead to behavior problems and poor results on other forms of testing. The ability to diagnose CVD early in a child’s life is critical to their …


Answering Your Patients’ Questions about optomap®

Posted on May 09, 2014 by

Have you recently added optomap technology to your practice? Perhaps you have new patients that are not familiar with ultra-widefield retinal imaging, and they’re eager to learn more about how the technology can benefit them. Regardless of the situation, when you present optomap to your patients for the first time, they may have several questions. To help you answer those questions, as well as explain the benefits of optomap, below are some of the most common questions and answers practitioners receive about optomap you can use as talking points.


Do I really need a retinal exam? The retina’s sensitive tissues often show early stages of diseases, such as diabetes, stroke and some cancers before you experience other symptoms. An optomap should be considered part of a comprehensive eye exam.  It also allows us to view more of your retina than we could with other technology. What is an optomap? Are there any side effects of this exam? An optomap uses scanning laser technology to create a panoramic, digital, high-resolution, and 200 degree view of the retina. The lasers are low intensity and non-invasive – in over 40 million images, no side effects have been found. How does optomap benefit me as a patient? There are many patient benefits associated with …


May is Healthy Vision Month

Posted on May 08, 2014 by

As proponents of good eye health, Optos would like to remind all practitioners that May is Healthy Vision Month. This is an excellent time to speak to your patients about healthy eye care habits that will provide them with the best chance at maintaining their eyesight, as well as preventing unnecessary vision loss.


As an eye care professional, you likely remind your patients of proper practices for optimal eye health on a routine basis. Healthy Vision Month is a great opportunity to remind them to be more proactive. Some tips and reminders you may wish to discuss with your patients include:


— Following your advice and scheduling regular comprehensive eye exams for early detection of deteriorating vision or eye disease. — Living a lifestyle that includes proper nutrition to support vision, exercise to maintain a healthy body weight and no smoking. — The importance of wearing protective glasses or face shields while participating in sports or other activities that can potentially harm their eyes. — Remind them to always wear sun protection to block both UVA and UVB rays, which are harmful to the eyes.

Also, consider hanging eye health posters in your practice to engage your patients. You might even set up your own …