February 12, 2004.
By Sarah Barnes,
Citizen Online - Covington,GA,USA.
CONYERS — Rockdale residents can now stay up to date on their eye exams with less hassle and discomfort.
Conyers’ Pearle Vision has added an Optomap to its office at Dogwood Drive, a cutting-edge computerized screening system which allows doctors to screen for the most common eye illnesses without traditional dilation.
The Optomap uses lasers to take detailed pictures of the back of the eye, which then allows doctors to detect or diagnose retinal and optic nerve diseases such as macular degeneration, glaucoma, retinal tears and detachments, retinal tumors, diabetic retinopathy and other ocular systemic diseases.
Because the pictures are digital, they can be reviewed immediately with the patients or other doctors on a computer screen, saved on file for later comparison purposes or transmitted to other medical experts for input.
Also, the process has been approved by the Federal Food and Drug Administration, the Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology and many universities such as Tufts University School of Medicine and the University of Eye and Ear Institute, as a reliable and accurate method for detecting eye disease, and on par with traditional dilation methods.
In response to the addition, Dr. David Grosswald of Conyers Pearle said that he was pleased and believed the new technology would benefit both patients and the center with its efficiency and accuracy in detecting disease.
“The Optomap exam has given us the ability to quickly and simply provide a comprehensive eye exam to all of our patients, without dilating the pupil,” Grosswald said. “This new Optomap exam is as reliable and effective as the dilated exam, the gold standard, but is much more efficient and patient friendly.”
Grosswald said that all patients should have a complete eye exam once a year.
To contact Pearle Vision, call 770-860-1919.
Providing a more comfortable eye exam is also important considering that many Americans have previously skipped annual exams due the burden of the typical dilation process. The process requires that patients receive eye drops and then wait for their eyes to dilate, receive the exam and then endure the lingering effects of the dilation for several hours after.
As a result, the American Optometric Association estimates that more than half of patients, around 52 percent, who receive an annual eye exam forgo the thorough process involving dilation.
This is dangerous because experts claim early detection of eye illnesses is the No. 1 key to successful treatment.
“Blindness and visual impairment from most eye diseases and disorders can be reduced with early detection and treatment,” U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Service (HHS) Tommy G. Thompson said at a press conference on eye health. “That’s why eye health education programs that encourage those at high risk for eye disease to have a regular exams are essential in preventing vision loss.”
Currently, over one million Americans aged 40 and over are blind and an additional 2.4 million are visually impaired and, in terms of eye disease which precludes blindness, around 1.6 million suffer from macular degeneration, 20.5 million from cataracts, 5.3 million from diabetic retinopathy and 2.2 million from glaucoma.
Also, these numbers are expected to double over the next 30 years with the aging of the baby boomer population, making prevention even more critical.
“About one in eight Americans is 65 or older,” Dr. Paul Seiving of the National Eye Institute (NEI) said. “When you add declining mortality rates and population shifts, such as baby boomers, the number of older people will grow dramatically in the years ahead.
Blindness and vision impairment represents not only a significant burden to those affected by sight loss, but to the national economy as well.”
For more information on eye health and trends, visit www.nih.gov or www.os.dhhs.gov. or www.cdc.gov.
End of article.
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