Each year, March is recognized as National Save your Vision Month, a campaign designated to promote good eye health. This year, the American Optometric Association is highlighting awareness surrounding digital eyestrain and the continued importance of regular, comprehensive eye exams. As computers becoming, even more, a part of everyday life, the risk of eye strain is higher than ever. While there are many more eye diseases that exist, and not all can be prevented, there are simple steps that everyone can take to help keep their eyes healthy now, reducing the chance of vision loss in the future, routine comprehensive eye exams are one of them.
As an eyecare provider, Joel Hayden, OD, believes optomap ultra-widefield (UWF™) retinal imaging to be the prudent and preferred method of conducting eye exams. Dr. Hayden purchased his first UWF device in 2014 because it offered a 200° view of the retina in a signle capture high-resolution image, in less than a half second, through an undialted pupil.
"Not everyone wants to be dilated and I am also concerned that I might miss something with standard BIO. optomap captures far out into the periphery but also offers me the ability to navigate through the color separations, it's just amazing. This was the biggest investment I had ever made in my practice and it was well worth it." says Dr. Hayden.
In 2019, Hayden opted for a no-cost trial of the California device and was quickly amazed. On the first day that the device was in the office, a 14-year old girl came in for a routine eye exam. At check-in, her mother declined the optomap screening. The staff asked if they could do the optomap anway, so that the staff could get acclimated to the new device, she agreed. Dr. Hayden discovered three retinal holes in the periphery of a young, otherwise healthy, asymptomatic patient, at this moment, to be able to see the peripheral detachments and save a 14-year-old girl's vision was worth the upgrade investment.
Hayden boasts the expedited exam flow he experienced with optomap imaging, he was able to provide a higher quality of care in a shorter amount of time. Amidst the pandemic of 2020, most appointments are now made online or over the phone and all paperwork and consent forms are completed prior to arrival, easing the stress on staff and patients as they arrive for their exams. Dr. Hayden feels that optomap UWF retinal imaging has been a critical component in being able to protect his staff and patients while providing the highest standard of care during these challenging times. Going forward, he feels it will be the prudent and preferred method of conducting comprehensive hybrid eye exams.
As times and the state of our world continue to change, eye care remains a top priority, and it’s important to continue to provide patients the technological advancements available with optomap to promote good eye health. Read Dr. Hayden's full story and visit our website to learn how you can add optomap to your practice and help patients save their vision while keeping them and your staff safer.