4 Eye Conditions Optomap® Can Help Diagnose

Jan 07, 2022
4 Eye Conditions Optomap® Can Help Diagnose
They say your eyes are the windows to your soul, but they’re also the windows to your health. Often, the first signs of disease appear deep inside your eyes. Here’s how optomap® provides optometrists with a clear view of your eyes and overall health.

Early detection and treatment is the ideal for any medical problem, whether it’s a minor infection, a chronic disease, or cancer. The same is true for your eye health, but you may not be aware of some eye conditions in their early stages.

With the advanced technology of the optomap® retinal scanner and Optovue OTC, which provides a 3D, cross-section image of your retina, we can see the front and back of your eyes and your optic disc clearly so we can diagnose problems early and start treatment before you even experience symptoms.

Not all optometrists offer the advantages of these sophisticated instruments, but Dr. Sophia Barnes at Vision Corner in Houston, Texas, does. She believes her patients deserve the highest quality care, and that means incorporating the latest technology into her independent practice. Here, she explains exactly what optomap does and what conditions it detects.

How the optomap retinal scanner works

Traditionally, optometrists have to dilate your pupils with eye drops before a retinal exam. Once your pupils are wide open, the doctor uses an ophthalmoscope to direct a beam of light through your pupil to get a good look at the backside of your eye. 

With optomap, Dr. Barnes can see your retinas more completely and clearly without dilating your pupils. You simply look into the device, which has a small viewing port that looks like a keyhole. A bright light flashes as the device captures an image of your retina.

It only takes a split second, the results are available immediately, and the image can be saved for future comparisons. 

Optomap helps diagnose these eye conditions 

The symptoms of some eye conditions appear first in your retinas, so regular screenings are critical to managing your eye health. The optomap is an invaluable tool that allows Dr. Barnes to detect four potentially serious eye conditions.

1. Age-related macular degeneration

Macular degeneration occurs as you age — the macula portion of your eye thins, and protein deposits called drusen build up. Macular degeneration affects your central vision, so you can’t see what’s directly in front of you.

Dry macular degeneration is the most common type, but wet macular degeneration, where abnormal blood vessels grow under your retina and sometimes leak, is even more serious. 

There’s no cure for macular degeneration, but an optomap scan can detect this condition early and allow Dr. Barnes to start treatment to reduce leaky blood vessels and help you manage your symptoms.

2. Retinal (macular) holes

Your retina is the back part of your eye, and the macula is a small part of your retina, helping you see straight ahead, detect colors, and detect fine details. If age or injury causes the gel-like center of your eye (the vitreous) to pull away from your retina, it can create a hole in your macula. This leads to blurry vision and distorted central vision. 

Optomap can spot a macular tear and help Dr. Barnes distinguish between macular degeneration and a retinal hole, which present with similar symptoms.

3. Retinal detachments

As the vitreous in your eyes shrinks with age, it may stick to your retina and cause tension when you move your eyes. With enough force, the vitreous can pull on your retina and tear it. Natural fluids then pass through the hole and lift your retina away from the back of your eye — a retinal detachment.  

Signs of a detached retina include:

  • Seeing “stars” or flashing lights
  • Seeing floaters, specks, lines, or cobwebs in your vision
  • The appearance of shadows in your peripheral vision
  • A “graying out” in parts of your vision

Optomap can reveal a detached retina and allows Dr. Barnes to recommend the appropriate treatment plan.

4. Diabetic retinopathy

If you have diabetes, you know that it can affect your nerves and blood vessels. When diabetes attacks your eyes, it’s typically in the form of diabetic neuropathy, a condition that weakens your retinal blood vessels and causes them to swell, shrink, or bleed. Untreated, diabetic retinopathy can lead to blindness.

The optomap gives you the advantage of early detection so you can slow the progression of damage and save your vision.

Other health conditions optomap detects

Your eyes aren’t the only beneficiaries of the optomap. The retinal scanner can also provide life-saving data about your overall health. The earliest signs of certain medical conditions show up deep within your eye before you notice any symptoms. Optomap can alert you to the onset of:

  • Cardiovascular disease
  • Stroke
  • Diabetes
  • Cancer

To protect your eyes and your well-being, schedule an appointment to see Dr. Barnes. Call our office at 713-623-2000 today, or use our online booking tool.