The Expanding Reach of Optos’ Ultra-Widefield Imaging

Posted on Sep 29, 2014 by

With over 75 research papers discussing Optos’ ultra-widefield (UWF™) retinal imaging available at this year’s Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology (ARVO) meeting, it’s safe to say that the world of research is taking notice of UWF technology.


A recent article by Rishi P. Singh, MD, an Assistant Professor of Ophthalmology at Case Western Reserve University, as well as staff physician and medical director of the clinical systems office in Cleveland Clinic, states “It is evident that UWF technology will take a more prominent role in the clinical care of patients with retinal disease.”


According to Dr. Singh, Optos provides the widest view of the retina and its periphery at 200 degrees or 82 percent. UWF is rapidly accelerating the understanding of retinal diseases and impacting their management. Considering the aging population and associated influx of retinal and macular pathologies that occur with age, UWF and the ability to incorporate images into digital patient records will become an integral portion of your practice in the future.


The research conducted to date proves that optomap® images can be obtained faster and with no patient interference, which vastly improves the assessment time per patient. While efficiency alone is a benefit, accuracy of the imaging and the …


Patient Advice: Helpful Tips on Eye Health for College Students

Posted on Sep 25, 2014 by

With more than 21 million students back on college campuses, it’s critical to remind young adults and their parents of maintaining good eye health. Until students experience a specific problem with their eyes, they usually don’t seek out help. With increased exposure to disease, injury and eye strain, maintaining good vision should be high on their list of priorities.



Contact lens wearers should be reminded never to wear their contacts in showers, pools or hot tubs. Nor should they clean and store their contacts in water. They should always use the appropriate cleaning and storage fluid to sterilize their contacts. The CDC reports that 85 percent of Acanthamoeba keratitis cases are found in contact lens wearers. Acanthamoeba is a parasite found in water that can be very harmful to the eyes.


Because universities, and even small colleges, are heavily populated, it’s best to remind students and parents to practice good hygiene. Conjunctivitis, more commonly known as “pink eye,” spreads rapidly and widely, but it can be avoided with frequent hand washing and less eye-rubbing. This practice can also limit the spreading of other infections that affect eye health.


Eye strain is another condition that affects students, as they tend to spend multiple …


Q&A: How optomap® has Impacted Vista Eye Care’s Practice

Posted on Sep 22, 2014 by

Vista Eye Care recently provided us with a Q&A session with Dr. Christine Bartoletti to discuss how optomap has changed their practice. We wanted to share some salient points from this interview, so you could see how Optos technology can work for your practice and patients.



Please read this brief highlight of the interview to learn about some of the benefits Vista Eye Care has experienced with our ever advancing technology.


How does optomap work and why should it be used? 


To determine the health of the retina, optomap enables us to take an ultra-widefield image, which images 200 degrees or 82% of the retina. We recommend that it be used as part of a regular comprehensive annual eye exam because the year-over-year images can be compared at each assessment to plan any necessary treatments.


Why did you want this technology to be a part of your practice? 


With optomap, I’m able to achieve a wider view of the retina without having to dilate my patients’ eyes. Additionally, I can compare images from one year to the next to detect changes easier and make earlier diagnoses.


Is the experience frightening or difficult for your patients? 


Thanks to Optos, patients …


Watch for These Ocular Developments That Could Threaten Vision

Posted on Sep 18, 2014 by

Routine eye and vision exams are not only critical for ensuring proper eye sight, they’re also important for catching ocular developments that threaten vision. Medically, physically and emotionally, the cost of blindness is high for your patients, and you’re their front line of defense for full vision protection, as well as diagnoses of diseases.


Morning Glory Syndrome is a disc anomaly that usually presents unilaterally and produces a vascular appearance of blood vessels exiting from the peripheral disc in a radiating pattern. Depending on the severity of the condition, vision loss can range significantly. This condition can deteriorate if retinal detachment occurs.


Optos ultra-widefield (UWF) retinal display imaging technology can help you track changes in the retina for patients affected with this defect. With a 200 degree view and highly detailed images, optomap exams are optimal for creating a baseline, while follow-up exams can be used as comparisons to track changes.


In a small percentage of patients, myelinated nerve fibers can cause a white, feathered obstruction that affects the head of the optic nerve. The condition should not be confused with “cotton-wool” spots. Myelination can cause blind spots in the patients’ field of vision and make them more susceptible to neurodegenerative diseases, such as glaucoma.



Retinal Health: Searching to Reduce the Frequency of Anti-VEGF injection

Posted on Sep 16, 2014 by

Anti-VEGF injections are not only uncomfortable for your patients; they’re also very cost-prohibitive. Researchers are working to develop new means of treating wet AMD that will reduce the frequency of anti-VEGF injections while improving outcomes, especially for those that are or have become non-responsive to treatments.


Since every case is different and has its own complexities, there are no hard and fast rules to determine the best course of action for your patients. As new drugs and other forms of treatments are developed, ensuring you understand how they may be beneficial to your patients is critical. One of the best ways to reduce the frequency of anti-VEGF injections to date is by applying a combination of current treatments.


Some doctors can decrease the injection intervals by switching or alternating the medications used to dry the retina. One doctor in particular, who co-wrote the PRONTO study focusing on alternative dosing schedules, has found that many of his patients benefited from a dosing regimen that alternates between Avastin and Lucentis. While Lucentis is significantly more costly and chemically similar to Avastin, it tends to dry the retina faster, which can result in fewer doses. While follow-up appointments to monitor possible fluid buildup or return …


Vision and Mental Health Team-up to Curb Depression in AMD Patients

Posted on Sep 12, 2014 by

With roughly 30 percent of AMD patients suffering from depression, the cost of blindness is anticipated to increase dramatically as our aging population drives up the number of people suffering from age-related vision loss. Not only are there medical costs to consider, but depression also increases disability and mortality rates. For this reason, a new study was conducted to determine the efficacy of combining mental health and low vision treatments. The results were quite intriguing.


When patients are diagnosed with low vision due to AMD, typical treatment involves an assessment of their remaining functional vision and prescriptions for visual aids with instruction on their proper use. Despite being diagnosed with an incurable, life-altering condition, no mental support or counseling is part of the current treatment plan.


Patients are not likely to recognize the symptoms of depression and fail to seek adequate help because they attribute how they feel to aging, struggling with the cost of blindness, and losing their independence. For this reason, researchers from Sidney Kimmel Medical College, Dartmouth Medical School and Johns Hopkins School of Medicine designed The Low Vision Depression Prevention Trial (VITAL).


Conducted at the AAO, VITAL found 188 patients that had been diagnosed with AMD …


Quick and Efficient Ways to Catch AMD

Posted on Sep 10, 2014 by

As the front line of defense in protecting your patients from vision loss, it’s becoming more important than ever to detect Age-Related Macular Degeneration (AMD) as soon as possible. With an aging population and AMD already the leading cause of vision loss in the elderly, beginning treatment at the onset of the disease or soon after will help your patients maintain their vision and quality of life longer. Since patients may not experience early symptoms, you’re their best chance at early eye disease detection.

Family history and pointed lifestyle questions can help highlight patients that may be at risk of developing AMD. If your patient has an immediate blood relative, for example, that has AMD, there’s an increase chance that they might develop the condition as well. Also at greater risk are those who smoke, partake of a high glycemic index diet and those who are overweight or obese. Age of course, is an obvious risk factor. Monitoring patients that match any or all of these categories and noting changes to their eye structure can be tantamount to early eye disease detection.


Another important consideration in eye disease detection is the technology you employ to perform clinical exams. optomap ultra-widefield …


Patient Advice: The Widening Call for Kid’s Eye Protection

Posted on Sep 08, 2014 by

Visual development in children continues from birth to approximately 8 years of age. During this time, their coordination skills and facial structures are also in rapid development, which makes them especially prone to vision damage. Since damage that occurs during this phase of a child’s development can impair their vision for life, it’s critical to inform the parents of your patients about the widening call for eye protection in children.

Research that was done in Australia proved that 10 percent of serious eye injury occurred during sporting activities and 27 percent of those cases resulted in permanent damage. Furthermore, the study showed that 48 percent of all eye injuries in children occurred while at home playing with objects that were easily accessible. With protective eye wear and implementation of simple safety tips, eye injury can be reduced by 90 percent.


To mitigate permanent visual damage, proper eye wear for the chosen sport is critical. An Australian study showed that only 19 percent of children wore protective eye wear while playing sports. While some sports in the United States mandate safety wear to protect eye health, there are many that do not. To protect children’s eyes, look for eye wear that’s …


Can We Predict Alzheimer’s with Retinal Imaging?

Posted on Sep 04, 2014 by

Current tests for Alzheimer’s disease are invasive and can expose patients to radiation or painful lumbar punctures. However, new studies featuring retinal imaging technology are showing positive results in Alzheimer’s prediction. Surprisingly accurate, these results were obtained with non-invasive techniques and may even be able to predict the disease as much as 15 to 20 years before physical symptoms appear, leaving more options for possible treatments.

Unlike the rest of the eye’s structure, the retina is part of the central nervous system and shares some common traits with the brain. Plaques that form after Alzheimer’s develops appear in the retina long before they accumulate in the brain. By using a specialized dye formulated from tumeric, scientists at Cedars-Sinai were able to fluoresce the plaques and view them with retinal imaging technology.


With this method, 100 percent of Alzheimer’s patients tested positive and 85 percent of those who did not have the disease tested negative. The first phase of this study will be completed later this fall and indications are very positive.


One of the major benefits of predicting Alzheimer’s with retinal imaging is the ability to begin treatment sooner to slow the progression of the disease. The earlier a patient is able to begin the treatment, the more effective it will be. The second …


Doctorly Advice: Explaining How Vision and Age Relate

Posted on Sep 02, 2014 by

Although most people are aware that vision may change with age, they may not know which changes are considered normal and which require an exam to determine a course of treatment. As for your patient’s age, it’s important to educate them so they can maintain healthy vision as long as possible.

Patients may develop presbyopia, oftentimes in their forties. When this happens, they will begin to struggle with close-up vision, especially during low light conditions. While this is a natural occurrence as the lens of the eye loses its flexibility, it may frighten some of your patients. Rather than buying inexpensive reading glasses that may not be the right strength for their condition, you should encourage them to visit your office for an eye exam using diagnostic instruments to rule out more serious conditions, at which time, they can be properly fit for corrective lenses that are the right prescription.


Although these conditions can happen at any age, AMD, glaucoma and cataracts are more common as people enter their sixties. Since these eye diseases often require early treatment to mitigate vision loss, it’s essential to inform your patients of possible signs, and encourage them to book an appointment with you as soon as possible.


As always, your …