Question: How does this technology improve comprehensive eye exams compared to the days when we did not have Optomap Retinal Imaging?
Before we had an Optomap, dilation was the only way we could get a complete view of the retina. Unfortunately, a dilated eye examination is often uncomfortable for patients, and results in vision blur and light sensitivity that can last for hours. By having a digital image taken, the patient does not have to suffer from any side effects, and the images can be compared over time. This has made our exam more efficient and patient friendly.
Question: To what patients do you recommend using the Optomap?
All patients are recommended to have an Optomap during their exam, although it is not required. First time patients, patients over 40, highly myopic patients, and patients with systemic disease (such as diabetes and hypertension) are strongly recommended to have an Optomap as well (sometimes with dilation).
Question: Are there certain feelings or vision issues that a person may notice that would point to the need for Retinal Imaging?
Changes in retinal health do not always involve a symptom of vision change. That is why it is important to have the retina looked at even when a patient has no symptoms. However if a patient had symptoms such as flashes, floaters, curtains, cobwebs, spots, or shadows in their vision, we would advise a dilated exam along with an Optomap.
Question: Can you share a particular story, in which by using the Optomap, you were able to detect and treat a disease that would have otherwise gone undetected?
Dr. Lewis had a patient that presented with no vision symptoms and vision that was correctable to 20/20. His previous eye exam and Optomap revealed no problems. At his new exam an Optomap was taken again and revealed a new horseshoe retinal tear with a peripheral retinal detachment in his left eye. We immediately referred him to a local retinal specialist. They did surgery the same day to repair the problem. If he wouldn’t have had the Optos imaging done it is very likely that this could have gone undetected and very well could have lead to blindness in that eye.
Question: Why did you choose this supplier to purchase this particular equipment?
Optos, the company behind the Optomap has an interesting background. Optos was founded and incorporated in 1992 by an engineer named Douglas Anderson in the UK after his young son went blind in one eye after a retinal detachment was detected too late. Although his son was having regular eye exams, routine exams were uncomfortable, especially for a child, which made it impossible for the doctor to conduct a complete exam and view the entire retina. Anderson set out to commercialize a patient-friendly retinal image product that encompassed a digital widefield image of the retina in a single capture.
Optos is now the only company that produces a device that is capable of imaging approximately 82% of the entire retina in a single capture. They are a great partner for eye care practitioners and their patients.