I am sure you have had your routine eye exam and have gone through retinal exam by dilating the pupil. I remember once, I had gone through dilation of pupil and was driving back home with the special goggles provided by the physician. I did not realize, until I started driving, that my vision will be affect to a great extent and somehow made it to home. It is more tough for the children, who have trouble in understanding the cause of blurred vision. Weel, i-Optics came up with a retinal imaging system that would not require dilation of pupil.
What is role of retina?
The retina is located in the back of the eye and functions in the same way as a film in a camera. As light enters the eye, it is focused on the retina. This visual information is sent directly from the retina to the brain and helps us to see the images.
The retina has blood vessels which can be seen by the optometrist by looking into the eye. This allows the doctor to diagnose and manage the conditions of diabetes, high BP, retinal detachments, glaucoma etc. Digital technology has made it possible to capture the images to be stored or printed so that further investigations and treatments can be carried out over the time. This is retinal imaging.
Why is pupil dilated for eye exam?
Dilation of pupil enables an eye care professional to see more of the retina, the light sensitive layer of tissue at the back of the eye. Dilating (widening) the pupil permits the retina to be examined for signs of disease. To do this, drops are placed into the eye to dilate the pupil. After the examination, vision may remain blurred and the patient may be bothered by the brightness of the sun for a few hours.
What advantage does Retina Imaging System offer?
A new retinal imaging system was developed by i-Optics, a Netherlands based company. i-Optics utilized scanning laser ophthalmoscope
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- pupil dilation is not required, laser technology provides capability to image through pupils as small as 2 mm.
- waiting time is reduces prior to the exam as a results and recovery time does not include blurred vision before driving home.
- provides a better contrast than regular fundus cameras and can penetrate media opacities such as cataract and corneal irregularities.
How does Retina Imaging System work without dilation?
i-Optics has named the device as EasyScan, utilizing as narrow laser beam to scan the surface of the retina. The reflected light is captured by a detector, thereby creating a real-time image on the monitor. EasyScan is based on SLO technology, which brings out clinical features in the retina in the earliest stages, provides better contrast than fundus cameras, and can better penetrate media opacities such as cataract and corneal opacities.It supports three imaging modalities: green (532 nm), near infrared (785 nm), and those two combined.
EasyScan has following features:
- Images can be previewed live with a freeze option on the computer screen.
- The system facilitates many automated features like eye steering, iris detection, and focusing.
- It connects to a PC or laptop via a standard USB connection which also functions as its power supply, so AC power is not required.
- Pictures can be stored and shared in different formats like: DCM, TIFF, TIF, JPEG, BMP. The device can easily be controlled by a joystick.
EasyScan looks like a promising tool for retina examination and the company considers it as a fast and useful tool for rapid diagnosis of diabetic retinopathy, age-related macular degeneration, glaucoma and other retinal pathologies.