Instrumentation

Ocular Coherence Tomogram (OCT)

OCT

Ocular Coherence Tomogram (OCT)

OCT is the most advanced testing tool available today for the diagnosis and management of the macular degeneration and glaucoma.

This machine functions much the way sonar works, except instead of using sound waves, it uses light.  In a scan time of 2.4 seconds, the OCT provides a full thickness picture of an area of the retina, showing all layers of the retina.  By viewing these layers, we can diagnose the presence or absence of macular degeneration.

For glaucoma diagnosis, the OCT does a topographic and size measurement of the optic nerve head.  It also measures the thickness of the retinal nerve fiber layer surrounding the optic nerve head.  In the presence of glaucoma, that nerve fiber layer is thinned due to death of the retinal nerves.  An OCT measurement is accurate to plus or minus one-thousandth of a millimeter.

Visual Field Analyzer

visual-field

Visual Field Analyzer

A visual field analyzer measures the threshold of retinal sensitivity.  We could find changes in retinal sensitivity among patients with glaucoma, strokes, headaches, some type medications, and most neurological conditions that effect the visual pathway.  We use this for both the diagnosis and management of all these conditions.

Within the instrument is stored a database of “normal” responses for every age, starting at age 18.  According to your birth year, the instrument does a statistical comparison of your responses to that “normal” database.  It then provides a comparison printout of your own analysis. From that analysis we determine if treatment in our office is best or possibly refer you to a neurologist or other specialty practice.

Digital Retinal Camera

digital-retina-camera

Digital Retina Camera

A digital retinal camera takes photos of the retina (the light-sensitive tissue lining at the back of the eye).  The photo of the retina is viewed on a computer monitor in the examination rooms.  This provides greater magnification and clarity than we can get using other instruments.  These images are used to educate, compare, and look for progression of ocular conditions.  Patients with healthy eyes do not need to have a retinal digital photo.

We often send copies of retinal images to your primary care physician, usually with a report, to show what we have found and advise your doctor what action may be taken.

Eye Care Examination Room

exam-room

Exam Room

A typical exam room used for vision testing uses the following instruments:

Phoropter: This instrument is put in front of your eyes, close to your face in order to determine a lens prescription.

Keratometer: This instrument measures the integrity and curvature of the front surface of the eye (the cornea).  It is especially useful in contact lens fitting and astigmatism determination.

Slit Lamp Biomicroscope: This is simply a binocular microscope with a variable magnification and a movable light source.  It is used to get high magnification views of ocular (inside the eye) structures as well as to measure the eye’s intraocular pressure (glaucoma test).  With this magnification the individual blood cells coursing through the blood vessels on the front of the eye can be seen.  This is a very critical instrument used on virtually every patient.

A number of other small instruments are regularly used during a vision exam, like a retinoscope, opthalmoscope, and pachymeter.

Auto-Refractor

This instrument is used during pre-testing to get a very close measurement of your prescription, without you helping us.  It is the starting point in the exact determination of your prescription, which is done in the exam rooms with the phoropter.  It can be especially useful on patients with communication or cognitive disabilities.

Optical Lab

optical-lab

Optical Lab

We call this is our “in house” optical lab where lenses are cut to fit into your frame.  We use the newest technology and most exacting equipment in order to deliver to you glasses fabricated properly and accurately.

This also allows for faster service and saves your money.  Because we cut lenses on site, we can put new lenses in your present frame while you wait.  If you have a frame you love, or are on a tight budget, we can put new lenses into your existing frame while you wait, eliminating the need to send your glasses away to an offsite lab to be filled with new lenses.