We use the most up-to-date technology to ensure the best eye care possible. Here are some of the different types of tests and equipment you may experience on a visit to our Practice.
Digital Retinal Imaging, OCT Scans, and Angiography
We use cutting-edge digital imaging technology to assess your eyes. Many eye diseases, if detected at an early stage, can be treated successfully without total loss of vision. Your retinal Images will be stored electronically. This gives the eye doctor a permanent record of the condition and state of your retina.
This is very important in assisting your Optometrist to detect and measure any changes to your retina each time you get your eyes examined, as many eye conditions, such as glaucoma, diabetic retinopathy and macular degeneration are diagnosed by detecting changes over time.
This also helps us to detect very early diabetic changes, along with concerning macular degeneration and glaucoma changes. This technology is also able to detect blood clotting disorders and blood flow issues to the brain. We continue to embrace new technologies that prevent unneeded vision loss.
The advantages of digital imaging include:
- Quick, safe, non-invasive and painless
- Provides detailed images of your retina and sub-surface of your eyes
- Provides instant, direct imaging of the form and structure of eye tissue
- Image resolution is extremely high quality
- Uses eye-safe near-infra-red light
- No patient prep required
Digital Retinal Imaging
Digital Retinal Imaging allows your eye doctor to evaluate the health of the back of your eye, the retina. It is critical to confirm the health of the retina, optic nerve and other retinal structures. The digital camera snaps a high-resolution digital picture of your retina. This picture clearly shows the health of your eyes and is used as a baseline to track any changes in your eyes in future eye examinations.
Optical Coherence Tomography (OCT)
An Optical Coherence Tomography scan (commonly referred to as an OCT scan) is a newer advancement in imaging technology. Similar to ultrasound, this diagnostic technique employs the back of the eye. Our first OCT was acquired in 2007. It acquired 24,000 scans in one second. In February 2021, our third OCT was purchased and acquires 71,000 scans in one second. Our latest OCT has the ability to scan the blood vessels, the healthier the optic nerve and retina. Changes can be tracked over time.
A scanning laser is also used to analyze the layers of the retina and optic nerve for any signs of eye disease, similar to a CT scan of the eye. It works using light without radiation, and is essential for early diagnosis of glaucoma, macular degeneration and diabetic retinal disease.
With an OCT scan, doctors are provided with color-coded, cross-sectional images of the retina. These detailed images are continuing to revolutionize early detection and treatment of eye conditions such as wet and dry age-related macular degeneration, glaucoma, retinal detachment and diabetic retinopathy.
An OCT scan is a noninvasive, painless test. It is performed in just a few minutes. Feel free to contact our office to inquire about an OCT at your next appointment.
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. Only 1% of eye doctor offices in the US have this insightful technology. Recent studies 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, especially if you have a family history.
Lower pigment scores have also been suggested as being a cause of increased glare, poor color vision and visual discomfort while using electronic devices. Recommendations are offered if scores are low, to improve your eye health. Yet another bonus, if your levels are high, it helps your brain work better!
The Ocular Response Analyzer, or ORA, is another 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 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.
About Dark Adaptation
People with age-related macular degeneration (AMD) often do not know they have the disease during its early stages. They may dismiss early warning signs, like trouble seeing at night, as part of the normal aging process. Ignoring these symptoms only delays diagnosis, which can lead to more vision loss.
We are offering a new test that helps us diagnose AMD at a very early stage and monitor disease progression. If you are experiencing problems seeing at night, or it is becoming increasing difficult to read in dim light, talk to us about scheduling an AdaptDx [adapt-dee-ex] Pro test.
AdaptDx Pro Dark Adaptometer
The AdaptDx Pro® aids in the detection and management of AMD. It measures the time it takes for your vision to adjust to the darkness, your dark adaptation speed. The test takes only about 10 minutes. You’ll wear a headset and press a button every time you see a flashing light. You’ll be coached by the friendly voice of Theia™, our on-board technician. Powered by artificial intelligence, Theia guides you through each step and lets you know how you are doing. Once the test is completed, your doctor will review the results with you.
What is RI?
The result of the test is your Rod Intercept® (RI®), the time it takes for the eye to adjust from bright light to darkness. When you take the AdaptDx Pro test, the device calculates your RI number and provides your doctor with critical information to help determine whether or not you have AMD.
Is the AdaptDx Pro test covered by insurance?
We may be able to bill the test to your insurance provider if there is a medical diagnosis related to AMD or you are experiencing trouble seeing in dim or dark environments. If not, the AdaptDx Pro test may require a modest out-of-pocket charge.
What should I expect during the test?
Watch this video that shows you exactly what to expect during the test: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UezmLSbBHHM
Age-Related Macular Degneration
Age-related macular degeneration or AMD is the leading cause of adult blindness in developed countries and affects nearly 1 in8 adults over the age of 60. This chronic, progressive disease attacks the macula, a part of the retina that allows us to see objects located straight ahead of us. The macula is responsible for your central vision, which allows you to do things like recognize faces, read, and watch TV.
Stages of Age-Related Macular Degeneration
As a progressive disease, AMD reveals itself in stages.
• Subclinical AMD
This the earliest detectable stage of age-related macular degeneration. The first warning sign is trouble seeing at night. Many people blame poor night vision on the normal aging process and don’t report the symptom to their doctor. Don’t make that mistake. If you begin having difficulty reading in dim light or adjusting to seeing in the dark, let us know. Identifying AMD at this point is critical to proactively manage the disease.
• Early to Intermediate AMD
Before we learned that dark adaptation is the first symptom of AMD, eye care professionals relied on identifying the disease during the early or intermediate stages by identifying drusen – yellow fatty deposits under your retina – which are physical indicators.
• Advanced AMD
Patients notice central vision blurriness as the disease advances. The transition from early-stage to late-stage AMD happens rapidly. If left untreated, it can lead to legal blindness in as little as six months. While treatment options can slow the progression of late AMD, nothing can reverse the damage already done.
AMD Symptoms and Risk Factors
The earliest symptom of AMD is impaired dark adaptation, which may cause difficulty seeing at night. As the disease progresses, symptoms may include distortion of straight lines or dark and blurry central vision. There are several factors that may increase your risk, including:
- Age 50 or older
- Family history of AMD
- Caucasian (white)
- Smoker or past smoker
- Heart disease, high blood pressure, or high cholesterol
Age is the biggest risk factor. In fact, 1 in 8 adults over the age of 60 have age-related macular degeneration (AMD). If you are experiencing a symptom of AMD or have multiple risk factors, let us know and we may test your eyes with the AdaptDx Pro.
What happens if AMD is detected?
If you are diagnosed with AMD, we have valuable time to develop a plan to delay further symptoms. Proactive steps to delay or prevent vision loss include:
- Lifestyle changes, such as improved diet and exercise
- Smoking cessation
- Eye health supplements
- Blue light protection
- UVA and UVB protection
We will also want to monitor your vision regularly. It is very important to follow up with testing as indicated, so we may promptly intervene should complications occur. If needed, you’ll be able to begin additional treatment as soon as late-stage AMD is detected.