Eyes Have It – New diagnostic technology eliminates the need for drops
Remember when going to the ophthalmologist meant suffering for hours after the effect of those dreaded drops wore off and you could see clearly again?
Those days may be a thing of the past, according to a respected local optometrist who uses a new technology called Optomap to look inside the retina, detecting any abnormalities that would be a warning sign of a separated retina or a other disorder, including common physical conditions not easily associated with problems.
“Who among us hasn’t felt this terrible feeling of fear that having a yearly eye exam meant suffering from the after-effects of dilation drops?” Although the drops make it easier for the examining physician to see the disease or your retina, they prevent you from seeing directly for up to two hours afterwards, which has not been necessary for several years, ”said Dr. Fendt. Shearer.
Dr Shearer, who six years ago opened a practice dedicated to advanced optometric services, wants patients to know how technology is changing the world of eye exams and the treatment of vision-related conditions.
“When I went out on my own after several years with a well-respected ophthalmologist in Nassau, the goal was to take the practice to a new level where we would use all the technologies available to make the patient experience as comfortable, convenient and precise. as possible. and wear glasses or contact lenses, which patients would appreciate, ”said Dr Shearer. “If they could ease the pain and the fear of going to the dentist, I knew we could get even better results by going to the ophthalmologist.”
The practice, called LENSES and located on Rose Street off Mackey Street next to KFC, is more reminiscent of an Apple store than a doctor’s office. For patients trying on glasses, they can project what different frames would look like through iPad images, much like a CAD program. Reviews push technology even further.
Instead of lining up to endure drops that leave the patient with blurry eyes while the doctor probes, the patient pulls up a chair, Dr Shearer places the scanner next to the eye and in less than a minute, the scan provides a more complete analysis than traditional dilation methods allow.
“The Nikek AFC 330 works by scanning and mapping the interior of the retina, offering several advantages over the invasive dilation method,” explained Dr. Shearer. “In addition to the convenience and comfort of the patient, it allows us to keep a digital record of the condition of the eye so that we have the ability to compare with great precision over time. ”
The health of the retina, says Dr. Shearer, is also a clue of other health problems.
“They say the eyes are the window to the soul,” he said. “Maybe it’s the romantic interpretation. Like other members of the medical profession, I prefer to inform people that the retina can also provide important information about general health issues, including hypertension, diabetes, the risk of stroke, and even melanoma. . The reason, he explained, is that the retina is filled with arteries, veins, and blood vessels that reflect the overall health of the vascular structure of the patient’s body.
“The average Bahamian doesn’t hesitate to take their car to the mechanic for a tune-up, but will procrastinate when the time comes for a medical examination of any kind,” said Dr Shearer, Nova Southeastern graduate. , dismissed. practice in the Bahamas and is a member of the American Optometric Association. “I hope that knowing that modern eye exams are painless, more people will do what could benefit their eyesight and potentially save their lives. ”