New technology at the Windsor Eye Care and Vision Center allows optometric physician Brent Phinney to get a comprehensive, 3D view of his patients’ eyes.
The new machine is called an Optomap. Created by the company Optos, the machine allows optometrists to get a high-resolution view of the patient’s eye, allowing them to better identify conditions like macular degeneration and glaucoma.
Phinney said the technology has been around for about six years, but early models took up the space of an entire room and were cost-prohibitive for most eye care centers. Now, the company has created a tabletop model of the same machine, opening the door for Windsor Eye Care, located at 515 Main St. , to provide the technology to its clients.
One benefit of the machine is in some cases, patients’ eyes do not need to be dilated for the visit, Phinney said. Dilation can last anywhere from 3-24 hours, depending on the patient, making it difficult for the patient to return to work or even drive home after the visit, he said.
“For the majority of people, we get a big enough image of the retina that we don’t need to dilate,” Phinney said. “We can dilate the eye, but even dilated you have to look in about 10 different fields to actually get a whole picture of the retina, whereas when you do an Optomap, you get it all on one screen in one image.”
The machine also allows for Phinney to see autoflorescent images of the eye, which can show problems with a patient’s retina that aren’t visible without the new technology, he said.
The Optomap process only takes a few minutes, he said. Patients place each eye up to the machine and see a flash of light, and a few minutes later Phinney is able to review the images with the patient.
He said about 90 percent of patients have been opting for the Optomap service.
The new technology also allows optical coherence tomography imaging, or OCT imaging, which gives Phinney a layer-by-layer view of a patient’s eyes, like an MRI scan.
“It’s made it much easier to monitor for glaucoma and macular degeneration because we can watch for changes to the back of the eye, even if there’s not a change in vision,” he said.
Phinney said the entire office’s records have been digitized, and pictures taken by the Optomap are kept on record so Phinney can compare the health of a patient’s eyes over time. If a condition is found in a patient’s eyes that require a referral to an optical surgeon or another doctor, the images can be easily shared with them.
“It’s also a really quick diagnostic test,” Phinney said “When someone comes in with some new floaters inside the eye, to make sure that we’re not having a retinal detachment. We can also see the blood vessels, and we monitor diabetics with images every year to make sure there are no changes to the back of the eye.”
Phinney said it is recommended that everyone get an eye exam once a year. Patients that have glaucoma or macular degeneration are monitored at least every six months, he said.
“It’s pretty unique for a small town like Windsor to have this technology,” office manager Lindsay Phinney said.
For more information about Windsor Eye Care and Vision Center, or to make an appointment, call (970) 460-0154.