Optomap: The Bigger Picture
Your retina is a light-sensitive layer of tissue in the back of your eye. It converts light and images to signals which it then sends to the brain. When there is a problem with the retina, it can impede this messaging process resulting in impaired vision or blindness.
Early detection of any retinal health issues is imperative to treating the conditions. Because the retina has no nerve endings, it is possible to have damage or another health condition and not feel it. Only a comprehensive eye exam and retinal screening by your eye doctor would detect such an issue.
Some of the more common conditions that can affect your retina:
Age-related macular degeneration
The traditional method for viewing the retina is through dilation of the pupil. This allows your eye doctor to view your retina directly and notice if there are any abnormalities or issues that need to be further looked at. Traditional dilation allows your doctor to see approximately 15% of your retina at one time.
With the new optomap® technology, your doctor now can see 82% of your retina at one time. The optomap scans your retina with an ultra-widefield view, often with no dilation necessary, and presents a digital image of your retina to your doctor. The benefits to this are that your doctor now has an almost complete view of your retina and is able to notice any abnormalities. Also, there are now digital records of your retina, and your doctor is able to compare records to note any changes.
Optomap is available at all EyeCare Specialties locations. Your doctor will be able to recommend how often you should have an optomap image taken based on your lifestyle and family history.
Meet the Frame Expert: Ashley
Hola, Ashley! Ashley loves working at EyeCare Specialties so much that she recently returned after spending a year in Spain teaching English. She enjoys taking what she learned in Europe and helping patients explore fashion and a new sense of style. Ashley has a way of helping people step out of their comfort zone and try something new.
She feels it’s important to get to know each frame line that ECS carries so she can give each patient as much information as they need to make the right decision.
Ashley looks forward to another great year with ECS, “I like working for a company that prides itself on taking care of its patients as well as its employees.” She’s also looking forward to being able to spend the holidays here with her family in Nebraska.
What is Myopia?
Myopia is nearsightedness or difficulty seeing objects in the distance. It can also cause squinting, eyestrain, headaches and eye fatigue. Myopia currently affects approximately 1/3 of adults currently in the United States. Myopia usually starts in childhood and worsens over time.
The issue lies within the shape of the eyeball in relation to the curvature of the cornea and the lens of the eye.
What causes Myopia?
No one is entirely sure. Studies show that heredity does play a part in whether or not someone develops myopia. If both parents wear glasses, there is a higher likelihood that their child will also need them. There are also some studies that suggest that reading may play a role in myopia development.
Our goal at ECS is to treat the myopic condition and to slow its progression.
There are several treatment options for myopia. Traditional glasses and contact lenses offer clear vision but do not slow the myopia. LASIK surgery can work for adults but is not recommended for children. Pharmaceutical intervention through medical eye drops can help control the progression of myopia for a while, but have negative side effects. Orthokeratology is the wearing of specially designed gas permeable contact lenses that reshape your cornea while you sleep. This can help slow the progression of myopia, but does not offer a permanent solution.
In recent research, the use of contact lenses, in which a patient’s prescription is in the middle of the contact lens surrounded by plus power, has shown to reduce myopia progression by 40-50%. It is suggested that when using these contact lenses to slow the progression of myopia that the patient utilize this modality until their early twenties.The center optics of the contact lens will correct for the myopia and deliver focused light rays on to the macula at the back of the eye. The peripheral retina is what studies have shown to be the driving force for the elongation of the eye leading to an increase in myopia. With distance only correction, the macula will have a focused image delivered to it, but the rays being delivered to the peripheral retina will not be focused on the retina, rather behind it. By placing the plus power around the myopia prescription, the light rays in the peripheral retina are focused on or in front of the retina helping to reduce the tendency for the elongation of the eye.