One of the first eye care instruments developed for early detection for eye diseases were cameras that captures high definition photographs of the retina, optic nerve and other important eye structures. These photos keep track of eye disease development and onset, including diabetes, glaucoma, and macular degeneration. A helpful feature of the camera is the ability to compare any previous photos with current photos.
Another early developed instrument is automated visual fields used for detection of glaucoma, macular degeneration, and even stokes and brain tumors. Newer versions analyze the changes over time. This tests how your eyes are functioning.
Developed twenty years ago, the first Optical Coherence Tomograph (OCT) captured images of the macula, retina, and optic nerve structures at a rate of 400 scans per second. The newest OCT captures 70,000 scans in a single second providing very high quality, detailed images that allows very early diagnosis and treatment of many eye diseases such as glaucoma, macular degeneration, and diabetic retinopathy. OCT testing can identify glaucoma 5-7 years sooner than visual fields.
A common misperception is that you see with your eyes. While your eyes actually do receive information the process of converting that information takes place in the brain. The Diopsys measures the strength and speed of electrical impulses that travel along the optic nerve between the eyes and the brain. This is a functional test, like the visual fields, but requires no patient response. This simple non-invasive test can lead to an even earlier diagnosis of glaucoma, macular degeneration, and diabetic retinopathy, 8 years sooner than OCT testing.
The Macular Pigment Optical Density test, or MPOD, is a useful tool in measuring your eye's resistance to harmful blue light. Recent findings suggest that blue light, which is emitted from phones, digital screens, TVs, and even sunlight can cause damage to your eyes after prolonged exposure. If your score on the MPOD is low, you could be at higher risk for developing macular degeneration. Lower pigment scores have also been suggested as being a cause of increased glare and visual discomfort while using electronic devices.
The Ocular Response Analyzer, or ORA, is one of the newest in cutting edge technology. The ORA uses air to determine the cornea's hysteresis value. The cornea's reaction to the air reflects the eye's ability to absorb energy. A high hysteresis value means that the eye has a greater ability to protect the optic nerve from elevated eye pressure in conditions such as glaucoma and ocular hypertension. A low value indicates a higher chance of developing glaucoma, and if glaucoma develops it progresses quicker than patients with higher values.
Young Vision Care has continued to add new instrumentation to provide early detection of risk