As an eyecare professional, you’re the front line of defense to help your patients maintain healthy vision. Other than providing comprehensive eye exams and counsel when problems occur, you can also educate your patients on the benefits of eating foods high in nutrients. While patients can also take supplements for vital vitamins and minerals, gaining nutrients from food sources is inherently better for them.
Foods that are rich in antioxidants help reduce oxidative stress that contributes to conditions, such as AMD and cataracts. Some particular nutrients that contain these powerful antioxidants include lutein, zeaxanthan, vitamins A, C and E, omega-3 fatty acids, beta carotene and zinc. The following are some examples you can suggest to your patients:
**Leafy green vegetables, such as spinach and kale, contain lutein and zeaxanthan to help protect against environmental damage, such as cigarette smoke, sunlight exposure and air pollution. They can also significantly reduce the development of age-related vision degeneration. **Eating half a cup of fruits and vegetables high in vitamin C every day, such as grapefruit, brussels sprouts and strawberries, can act as a powerful source of antioxidants. **Vitamin E is found in wheat germ, nuts and seeds. Most people don’t get enough natural vitamin …
Ultra-widefield retinal imaging devices from Optos can give eyecare professionals a 200° view of the retina. This technology can assist with earlier detection of certain eye diseases, especially for conditions that develop in the periphery of the retina. If these diseases are diagnosed earlier, then treatment can begin sooner to mitigate damage to vision.
Retinal imaging is often used in the case of diabetic retinopathy or macular degeneration. However, due to the ease of use and efficiency of the optomap® exam, it’s also used to form a baseline from which to compare degenerative changes, or to monitor the efficacy of treatments that have been prescribed. In cases where wet AMD are suspected, a fluorescein angiogram may be performed to determine circulation in the eyes and any abnormal leakage in the vessels, which can cause vision loss.
Results from optomap, using our ultra-widefield retinal imaging devices, are available immediately for review with patients. It’s possible to show the patient areas of concern to help them understand any pathologies that may have been found during the exam. Since dilation is not required to perform an optomap eye exam, patients can resume their normal duties immediately and even drive themselves to and from their appointment.
We live in a world where much of our day is spent in front of a screen. From mobile devices to long days spent in front of a computer, blue light exposure is a large contributing factor to the increase in permanent vision damage from long-term cumulative effects.
Blue light is the highest exposure in the visible light spectrum. It can penetrate eye filters all the way to the back of the eye. Since children’s eyes are still developing through their early teens, they’re particularly sensitive to blue light exposure. The cumulative effects of blue light exposure can lead to lesions in the RPE and macular degeneration.
To help your patients protect their eye health, you should inform them to cut back on their exposure if at all possible. Barring that, if they can refrain from using their digital devices for a couple of hours before they sleep each night, melatonin production will increase as well as REM sleep, which can contribute to their overall health.
Second, you should recommend lenses that help filter blue light, especially for children spending several hours every day using digital devices for leisure and homework completion. Unlike blue light filters of the past, these lenses are not bright orange. …
Squinting, sitting too close to the television and holding books close to the face are a few obvious signs that a child is having trouble with their vision. Unfortunately, these signs are not always present if a child has difficulty seeing, so there are some other important red flags to watch out for.
Vision problems in infants under 18 months of age are rare, but babies should still take a vision exam to rule out any issues. While many babies’ eyes may look unfocused up to about four months of age, any sign of recurring wandering eyes or inability to track an object in their field of vision after reaching this stage should be checked by a doctor.
Children 18 months to 4 years old should be monitored closely for potential vision problems as this is the age in which most issues develop. The two most common problems at this stage are drifting, or crossed eyes, and uneven focus. Although the first issue is visible, uneven focus can be difficult for a parent to notice.
The American Diabetes Association met recently and had several presentations on diabetic retinopathy which were covered by Ocular Surgery News. There were several key takeaways in preliminary research results and diagnostics from the event.
During one discussion, results from a phase III study comparing the efficacy of laser treatment against aflibercept for the treatment of diabetic macular edema (DME) were presented. The main points observed during this study were that randomized participants treated with laser did poorly overall. By studying the effects for all participants, it was shown that patients with the worst levels of HbA1c received no benefit at all from laser therapy, whereas those whose levels were well-maintained did see some benefit. Essentially, the main takeaway is that proper management of diabetes can reduce the need for either of the treatments. Retinopathy was a primary outcome in the Diabetes Control and Complications Trial (DCCT). As a secondary portion of the DCCT, the results for adolescents between the ages of 13 and 17 were separated, and findings unveiled that routine eye exams based solely on condition and age were not beneficial if no retinopathy was discovered upon first examination. Read more about this study’s detailed finding at Helio. Already …
As a vitreo-retinal specialist, Dr. Charles Mayron, MD previously relied heavily on OCT technology for diagnosis purposes in his patients. After using the 200Tx from Optos, he discovered many benefits to the ultra-widefield retinal imaging device.
One of the main points Dr. Mayron brings up about an optomap eye exam is the 200 degree view of the retina that he would have typically only seen in the operating room. Being able to have such a wide view in his office allows him to see possible causes for patients that are not responding well to standard treatments for pathology of the eye. He states he is able to see other issues that are contributing to the lack of success with conventional treatment for some of his patients.
Accountability is another area that optomap helps Dr. Mayron in his practice. With a heavy patient load, the 200Tx allows for a more thorough exam over previous technology, with an expediency and patient comfort level that was not possible before. This allows for accurate diagnoses and monitoring since the images captured provide excellent detail of the periphery as well as the fundus.
All professions have their own jargon, and ophthalmology is no exception. So if you want to make the most out of your visit to the ophthalmologist — and if you want to know more about proper care for your eye health — then you need to familiarize yourself with some basic terms, starting with the differences among ophthalmologist, optometrist, and optician.
Many people mix up these terms, so let’s clear them up now once and for all:
Ophthalmologists are medically qualified specialists of full-spectrum and comprehensive eye care. As the most highly-trained out of all eye care specialists, they can handle everything from prescribing corrective glasses to performing delicate surgeries. Optometrists are primary level eye care providers who perform eye exams and prescribe eye wear. Opticians are technicians trained to fit frames, lenses, and contacts on patients who need their eyesight corrected. However, take note that there are two kinds of opticians: the dispensing opticians who provide contacts and glasses, and ophthalmic opticians who perform eye exams and prescribe eye wear.
In adult patients ages 20 to 74, diabetic retinopathy is the leading cause of new blindness cases every year. As a highly specific negative vascular affectation, diabetic retinopathy is associated with both type 1 and type 2 diabetes, becoming more prevalent the longer the patient has had the disease. As a health professional on the front lines of preventing blindness, it is critical to provide your patients with education about diabetic retinopathy screening.
You should perform a comprehensive eye exam, including an optomap as a first screening for your diabetic patients. From this exam you will be able to pinpoint possible problem areas and development of any diseases if they exist. Discuss your findings with your patient and impress upon them the importance of serious diabetes management to prevent or delay diabetic retinopathy or macular edema.
Since blindness can be prevented or prolonged through early detection, utilizing ultra-widefield retinal imaging devices for treatment of your diabetic patients, can help. Depending on the results from the first screening, develop a follow-up screening program and explain to your patients why these regular screenings are critical to maintain their vision. Be sure they understand that although they may not experience vision loss or …
As an eye care provider, you are well aware that the sun’s UV rays can damage your patients’ eyes, and this is why you have likely worked toward educating them on this premise. New research from Case Western Reserve University in Ohio has proven a correlation between cataracts and chronic exposure to UV. As the leading cause of blindness in the world, cataracts are expected to affect more than 50 million Americans, nearly double the current number, according to the National Eye Institute (NEI).
The study, which was partially funded by the NEI, has shown that UV light causes glycation. Glycation is the destruction of proteins in the eye, which is seen in both cataracts and cells that are damaged by oxidative stress. When the proteins in the lens of the eye are destroyed, a cataract is formed. The researchers confirmed the process using a mouse model.
Follow-up research is planned to delve deeper into the process for better understanding, but the hope is that the current research will help prevent some of these cases from occurring. And with proper patient education, backed up by sound research, eye care professionals can help patients avoid this ailment with the right …
Knowledge is power, and when leveraged the right way, it can also be informative and fun. From trivia nights with friends to racking your brain on the daily crossword, testing your knowledge of the world can be a blast.
This August, as summer comes to a close, Optos is offering everyone a chance to test their knowledge of eye health for a good cause with the optomap® Eye-Q Quiz. This short insightful quiz is a quick means of assessing your grasp of eye health and protection, and it’s open to all participants from August 5th to September 29th.
How to Participate:
Participating in the Eye-Q Quiz is easy. All you have to do is click the ‘Eye-Q Quiz’ icon on the Optos Facebook page and then answer the five questions presented below it. The entire quiz takes minutes to complete, and you’ll walk away with better understanding about the importance of protecting your vision.
And better yet, upon completion of the quiz, Optos will donate $1 to the American Diabetes Association, an organization renowned for helping people diagnosed with Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes.