Blacksburg Eye Associates is committed to providing comprehensive eye and vision care to the entire family. We are always adding to and updating our clinic. These changes include optical staff training, new lines of eyewear in our dispensary, and an investment in new technology to help detect and manage ocular disease. Here are some of the pieces of equipment we have invested in for your health and convenience.
iVue SD-OCT by Optovue: Micro-anatomy Imaging
A technology upgrade we have brought into Blacksburg Eye Associates is the iFusion by optovue. This equipment combines the iVue SD-OCT (which is similar to an MRI of the eye), and the iCam which integrates digital imaging of the front and back of the eye (see below).
This technology helps us diagnose, document, educate, and monitor treatments of various conditions affecting both the eye and the body. Diabetes is a great example of a common systemic condition that can be detected through a thorough exam of the eyes. Many medications can cause side effects and the standard of care is quickly becoming to monitor eye health regularly with SD-OCT technology – examples would be Plaquenil, Amiodarone, Fosamax, and Gilenya.
When using this instrument there are two modes of operation. One is a screening as an iWellness exam – this is an abbreviated scan, and we offer this as part of our technology screening package (with the Optomap, listed below). The other mode is a more thorough, full-threshold set of tests which is more extensive and usually billed to your medical insurance. If something is detected on the iWellness exam ordering the more thorough imaging would be the next appropriate step.
iCam by Optovue: Retinal Photgraphy System
This state-of-the-art digital retinal photography system lets our doctors examine and document the health of the inside of your eye. The eye is the only place in the body where we can directly view blood vessels and nerves. The interior of the eye isn’t only used to detect early signs of systemic disease, like glaucoma or macular degeneration, it is also a great place to screen for early signs of system disease–things like high blood pressure, high cholesterol, anemia, diabetes, sarcoidosis, and even multiple sclerosis. Using this digital system we can photograph to screen for and document any signs of pathology.
The iCam is similar to the Optos, but different in many ways. The Optos Daytona is a composite image obtained by scanning lasers that builds a view of the retina that reaches out to 200 degrees of field. The Nidek camera focuses all of its attention on the most posterior 45 degrees of the retina, or what is called the ‘posterior pole.’ This is a true-to-life digital color photo of some of the most important tissues regarding ocular health, and while the Daytona is fantastic, it is no replacement for true photography.
Blacksburg Eye Associates is committed to the highest level of care, so we have invested in both pieces of retinal imaging equipment. This will enable our Doctors and staff to detect and manage ocular and systemic disease better by detecting problems earlier, and allowing us to more easily monitor for changes.
Optos Daytona: State of the art, wide-field laser imaging
Optos has been a leader in retinal imaging for years, and with their newest platform, the Daytona, they bring even more, and Blacksburg Eye has it. We have invested in their Daytona imaging system to better evaluate ocular health–there are currently less than 20 of these units in the Commonwealth of Virginia.
The Daytona provides an unequaled 200° view of the retina in a single capture, through its patented Virtual Point™ technology. This approach utilizes the unique optical properties of a large ellipsoidal mirror. The result is a high-resolution, high-contrast image – the optomap. This comprehensive view of up to 82% of the retina in one image, offers our doctors an opportunity to identify and follow peripheral pathology as well as central pole abnormalities.
By comparison, traditional retinal exams only allow the inspection of a small portion of the retina at one time. For example, a direct ophthalmoscope allows less than 10 degrees of visualization, an indirect ophthalmoscope about 30 degrees, and a fundus camera 45 degrees.
Here is a quick video animation on the procedure and its benefits.
Below is a clip from 'The Doctors.' This model is an older version from 2009.
Nidek OPD Scan iii
The Nidek OPD Scan iii is a combination unit used by our technicians to help the doctors assess your visual system. Outside of the standard farsighted, nearsighted, and astigmatism, there are many different things that can impact the visual pathway. This system helps image all components, including something called wavefront aberrometry. This helps us identify and potentially fix subtle issues like why driving at night may seem worse.
TelScreen EyeRes Imaging System
TelScreen is leading the way with their custom imaging solutions for imaging of the front surfaces of the eye, or the "anterior segment." During your eye exam the doctor will be using a slit-lamp, which is essentially a binocular miscroscope system to evaluate the health of the front of the eye. With the EyeRes camera system in the office we can now capture high-res digital images of anatomy and pathology. This helps our doctors better document problems (like infections, wounds, and tumors) and track their changes closely.
The Tomey RT-7000 is an amazing 3-in-1 unit that helps Blacksburg Eye Associate that helps our doctors provide comprehensive eye care in a time efficient manner. This unit takes 3 different readings quickly and efficiently, including:
- refraction: this gives our doctors an estimation of your prescription
- K readings: size/curvature of the front of the eye, useful in fitting contact lenses
- corneal topography: advanced corneal imaging to help us best fit contact lenses, and help diagnose/monitor corneal disease such as keratoconus
- Dry eye evaluation: this new feature helps our doctors to detect early problems of the tear surface to better aide them in managing ocular surface disease such as dry eye syndrome and keratoconjunctivitis sicca.
PVVAT Computerized Visual Acuity System
This is the equivalent of upgrading the slide projector your 3rd grade science teacher used to a 46″ Samsung LCD HDTV. Blacksburg Eye Associates has decided to join the 21st century, and has chosen a computerized visual acuity system to best measure your vision. A computerized system allows for many improvements over the standard ‘projection’ systems, including:
- randomized letters (no more memorizing!)
- different ‘optotypes’ such as pediatric shapes and tumbling E’s
- integrated videos to capture your (or your child’s) attention
- stable and adjustable size, brightness, contrast
I-care Tonometer: No anesthesia or air puff
In the trend of simplifying patient care and staying up to date with technology, Blacksburg Eye has begun using the hand-held tonometer from Finland, and with great success. It is much less intrusive and much less traumatic than the conventional NCT, or ‘puff’ tonometer. It is comparable to the gold standard GAT tonometry, but doesn’t require anesthetic drops. While we still employ these other tests (NCT and GAT), the I-care is quickly becoming a staff, doctor, and patient favorite.
A short video illustrating the comparison between I-care and the very common NCT.