Advanced technology has reached Victor Harbor and the south coast region to play a key role in helping to save our eyesight.
OPSM, a company that until now has mainly focused on its acronym – Optical Prescription Spectacle Makers – has won exclusive rights over the next four-years to use a new Optos program in its Victor Central Shopping Centre store.
Until this development, a basic retinal photograph or scan allowed an optometrist too see a maximum 45 degree angle of the back of the eye, the retina. This typically encompasses the main structures, the macula or an area within the eye, and the optic nerve.
According to OPSM Victor Harbor optometrist Byron Peeters (pictured), the new ultra-wide Optos imaging presents a 200 degree image of the back of the eye or retina.
“It allows us to see so much more of the retina in one single image,” he said. “It is a more comprehensive view of the health of your eye, seeing things that may otherwise be missed. With this technology we are leaving very little to chance.”
The Optos imaging has already proved effective in cases relating to macular degeneration, a medical condition that usually affects older adults resulting in a loss of vision in the centre of the visual field (the macula). This technology will not cure the condition, but will help specialists to prevent its progression or limit its severity.
Byron, who joined the Victor Harbor team in March, has already had extensive training using the Optos technology, which is being introduced to the company’s other stores throughout the country.
He said another feature using the Optos imaging was it’s ability to perform autofluoresence imaging of the retina. Autofluorescent imaging is a non-invasive procedure that can detect changes in metabolic activity at the back of the eye before clinical signs appear.
“What happens is that the macula may become filled with a waste deposit called lipofuscin, a pre-cursor to macula degeneration,” Byron said. “Lipofuscin isn’t always detected via a study of the retina. A small lesion may be mistaken for nothing, however autofluorescent imaging via the Optos allows one to see lipofuscin accumulation in the retina.
“Another application of the Optos is for diabetics, who are at risk for developing diabetic eye disease, where blood vessels may start to leak fluid and blood anywhere in the retina. Performing an Optos image enables one to see the retina in a much wider field of view and allows one to detect with more certainty if diabetic eye disease is likely to occur, or even if someone may have diabetes before they even know.”