Facts about diagnosing human eyes

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As wondrous as it is, the human eye is not without its flaws.  It is an imperfect optical system that suffers from a wide array of aberrations, or defects, that have varying impacts on the quality of vision.  Like fingerprints, each person’s eye, and its aberrations, is unique.

Lower-order aberrations including sphere, cylinder and axis of rotation (astigmatism) are measured using standard ophthalmic instrumentation that has existed for decades.  In most cases, these visual defects can be corrected with optical or surgical corrections that provide an acceptable result in terms of patient comfort and visual acuity.

Higher-order aberrations, which may account for as much as 20% of the total defects in the eye’s optical system and that are generally regrouped under the “irregular astigmatism” diagnosis, are impossible to diagnose with traditional ophthalmic devices including ophthalmoscopes, retinoscopes or optometers.  Although many patients can still achieve perfect visual acuity (20/20), even when these aberrations remain uncorrected, common symptoms including comet, halo and starburst effects can have an important effect on the overall quality of vision.

Imagine Eyes’ irx3™ Wavefront Aberrometer overcomes the limitations imposed on less sophisticated diagnostic equipment by applying a completely different approach to ophthalmic diagnosis.  By measuring the patient’s entire optical system in one procedure, the irx3 not only provides basic ophthalmic data typically used in prescribing optical corrections but equally an abundance of detailed data on the ensemble of the aberrations present and their effect on the patient’s vision.  This data is not only essential for prescribing corrections but also for qualifying patients for different types of optical or surgical corrections.

When corrections are applied, especially surgical corrections, comparing the results to the precorrected state is a difficult task.  The irx3 can measure with optical or surgical corrections in place, thereby allowing the practitioner to compare the pre and post-corrected results.  Even more, the irx3’s proprietary wavefront accommodation assessment allows clinicians to dynamically and objectively evaluate the effectiveness of corrections for presbyopic patients.

Correcting for complex aberrations can be a difficult and time-consuming task for both practitioner and patient.  Even more, perfect correction does not always mean perfect patient comfort.  Oftentimes, doctors must chose to under or overcorrect certain defects in order to provide the patient with optimal visual comfort.

The crx1™ Adaptive Optics Visual Simulator is the first in a new generation of adaptive optics phoropters that will revolutionize the way doctors treat both commonplace and complex ocular deficiencies by allowing them to simulate the visual outcome of various corrections before applying them.

Retinal diseases are considered a major public health issue.  In the US alone, there are over 7 million people that suffer from various forms of retinopathy including diabetic retinopathy, retinitis pigmentosa, macular degeneration and others.

Diagnosing and treating retinal pathologies has been a arduous task, largely because of the fact that the eye is an imperfect optical medium that makes obtaining detailed, high-resolution, in vivo images of the retina extremely difficult.  Recently, a team of scientists using Imagine Eyes’s adaptive optics technology in combination with OCT techniques were able to acquire exceptional high-resolution, three-dimensional images of retinal microstructures that were, until then, only visible via ex vivo microscopic examination.

The leap from diagnosing retinal pathologies to effectively treating them is long.  Currently, the major problem revolves around the fact that the focal point of surgical lasers is too large to avoid damaging the healthy tissue in proximity to the diseased cells.  In addition to providing doctors the tools they need to visualize the living retina, Imagine Eyes’ technology will, in the future, enable surgical laser manufacturers to reduce the size of the laser’s focal point to that of a single cell.  For the first time, doctors will be able to precisely select the cells to be treated while leaving the surrounding healthy tissue intact.

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