Technology is increasingly integral to providing cutting edge eye care service. It really does allow practitioners to know every part of their patients’ eyes better than they’ve ever known them before.
Patients with glaucoma and macular degeneration, two of the most common and well-known conditions, are perfect examples of those who have benefited from technology. The number of unknowns associated with these diseases has vastly diminished thanks to advances in instrumentation.
Break through technologies
Optical Coherence Tomography (OCT) is undoubtedly the most important recent breakthrough in our industry. It is currently the most sought-after instrument being added to practices and will be the hot item at ODMA this year. This is entirely understandable given the amount of data that is supplied by OCT technology about the whole eye and especially the back of the eye.
Being able to capture a fundus image and then choose an exact point from which to view a cross section of the retina in 3D is simply amazing – and not only for the practitioner. Patients, who are increasingly knowledgeable about their own health issues, expect to be looked after with the highest level of technology.
Patients with glaucoma and macular degeneration, two of the most common and well-known conditions, are perfect examples of those who have benefited from technology.
But it is not just the back of the eye that is losing its mystery. Topography, OCT, wavefront analysis and dual scheimpflug imaging now provide information about every part and every aspect of the human cornea. Refractive surgery, contact lens fitting and assessment of keratoconus are all achievable with a level of precision and sophistication that was unheard of even a few years ago.
Glaucoma is infinitely easier to understand with the advent of OCT ganglion cell layer monitoring, blueon- yellow and Frequency Doubling Technology (FDT) perimetry. Management is also simplified now that intraocular pressure and pachymetry measurements are achievable without even touching the eye!
The management of macular degeneration (MD) has also improved via OCT analysis. MPOD measurement allows practitioners to identify MD suspects who can then be advised on lifestyle changes and supplements. Even diabetes can be controlled more effectively with the advancements of OCT with FA capability and autofluorescence.
These days, there is no excuse for any practitioner who is concerned for their patient’s eye health, to allow eye disease to take hold without a fight. Traditional equipment has been superseded by far more sophisticated instruments. Early detection of eye disease is possible like never before.
Smart practitioners that recognise the potential to use technology for comprehensive patient care will differentiate their service within a highly competitive professional environment.
Furthermore, those who educate their patients about actively caring for their own vision and eye health, and charge a fair price for their services, have the perfect opportunity to build their business as well… And where better than ODMA to immerse oneself in the new technology!
Lee Pepper is Business Manager and the consultant optometrist with Optical Manufacturers, based in Sydney. His role is to give advice to practitioners of technology about consulting room equipment options. He can be contacted at [email protected]