As you know, we like to be at the forefront of Optometry and we always invest in the latest technology to make your eye examination even more in depth to safeguard the health of your eyes.
Patients don’t enjoy the puff of air test – also known as a non-contact tonometer, which measures the pressure in the eye. When this pressure goes up it can damage the optic nerves and causes glaucoma, which is why we monitor everyone who is over 40 with this test. However, we now have a new alternative test, the Icare tonometer, which is very accurate but doesn’t have a puff – most people can’t feel it at all. If you want to have this test instead of the puff of air please say at your examination.
From the New Year we will have a Heidelberg Spectralis Optical Coherence Tomographer (OCT). This machine allows us to see your macula in even more detail than before. In addition, it has an unique ability to detect changes over time that might indicate the earliest signs of glaucoma. Glaucoma is a relatively common eye disease but it is very difficult to diagnose in the early stages. When you get glaucoma the nerve fibres in the eye progressively die until eventually you start to lose vision. A lot of nerve fibres are irreparably damaged before a visual loss can be detected.
This new OCT monitors the thickness of the nerve fibres so accurately that we can look at the thickness at each appointment and see if there has been a reduction. This will help us detect glaucoma before a visual loss has occurred. For those already diagnosed with glaucoma it will help us monitor whether there has been any change without relying on the very subjective visual field test.
We have always been contact lens pioneers. Many patients are still wearing a lens designed by Frederick Burnett Hodd in the 1950s. Last year, his granddaughter, Caroline Burnett Hodd designed a new lens for use in practice. The lens has been created for eyes that have keratoconus and is a rigid lens that is 15mm wide. It is designed to fit the depth of the eye rather than the curvature. The lens is so comfortable and the vision so good that No7 Contact Lens Laboratory Ltd launched it as a new lens called Comfort 15. It is now available all over the world. We have been told that Caroline Burnett Hodd is the first woman ever to design a contact lens.
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