Ocular Health Centre is a community based provider of diagnostic imaging. By the request of your doctor OHC will provide you with the latest in OCT and Fundus Photography. These images provide valuable information and assist in the diagnosis, management and if necessary, treatment of your specific eye disease.
Eye Diseases can Include (scroll down to learn more about each listed disease):
- Age-Related Macular Degeneration (AMD)
- Diabetic Retinopathy
Local Treatments Available:
- Diabetic Retinopathy
Ocular Coherence Tomography (OCT)
Optical coherence tomography (OCT) is a new non-invasive imaging technology capable of producing high resolution cross-sectional images of the retina. The anatomic layers within the retina can be differentiated and retinal thicknesses can be measured. OCT is extremely useful in monitoring the changes in the retina and optic nerve during the course of your treatment.
Optical coherence tomography (OCT) is an optical signal acquisition and processing method. It captures micrometer-resolution, three-dimensional images from within optical scattering media. Optical coherence tomography is an interferometric technique, typically employing near-infrared light. The use of relatively long wavelength light allows it to penetrate into the scattering medium. Confocal microscopy, another similar technique, typically penetrates less deeply into the sample.
Photographs may be taken to document the appearance of the optic nerve, vitreous, retina and it’s blood vessels. A specialized digital camera will create a permanent record of your retinal condition that can be used for comparison at future visits. You will experience a bright flash of light as each picture is taken. The procedure is painless and the results can be viewed immediately.
The fundus of the eye is the interior surface of the eye, opposite the lens, and includes the retina, optic disc, macula and fovea, and posterior pole. The fundus can be viewed with an ophthalmoscope.
What is AMD?
AMD stands for Age-Related Macular Degeneration. It is a progressive disease associated with aging that gradually destroys your central vision and impairs your ability to perform common daily tasks such as reading, driving or watching television. AMD is the leading cause of severe vision loss in adults over the age of 50. In fact, AMD alone affects more Canadians than breast cancer, prostate cancer, Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s disease combined.
There are two forms of AMD- Dry AMD and Wet AMD.
- Dry AMD is characterized by the accumulation of cellular debris in the macula. This eventually leads to damage in the light sensitive cells, resulting in distortion of central vision. Although this form of AMD progresses fairly slowly for most patients, there are still treatment options that may delay and possibly prevent dry AMD from advancing to a point where severe vision loss occurs. One of the options is nutritional supplementation in the form of very specific high-dose vitamin therapy (AREDS).
- In wet AMD, tiny blood vessels in the macula spontaneously begin to leak blood and other fluids into the macula, destroying its ability to function properly. The wet form of AMD is more serious because it can progress very rapidly, sometimes in a matter of weeks, causing loss of vision. Treatment for wet AMD may include drug therapy through injections in your eye and/or laser surgery.
Factors affecting risk of developing AMD:
Family history of AMD, Increasing age, smoking, obesity, eye colour, gender, blood pressure and UV light exposure.
Early detection and diagnosis leads to better visual outcomes. When you understand your risk, you and your eye care provider can develop a personalized program to manage your disease. Monitoring and treatment can begin before your symptoms progress, enabling you to slow down or prevent the progression of the disease. AMD cannot be reversed, however vision loss associated with it can be prevented or delayed through early detection and diagnosis. The earlier you understand your risk level , the better your chance to save your sight. – Dr. Varun Chaudary MD., FRCP (C). Vitreo-Retinal Surgeon
What is Diabetic Eye Disease?
Diabetic eye disease refers to a group of eye problems that people with diabetes may face as a complication of diabetes. All can cause severe vision loss or even blindness.
Diabetic eye diseases may include:
- Diabetic retinopathy-damage to the blood vessels in the retina.
- Cataract-clouding of the eye’s lens. Cataracts develop at an earlier age in people with diabetes
- Glaucoma-increase in fluid pressure inside the eye that leads to optic nerve damage and loss of vision. A person with diabetes is nearly twice as likely to get glaucoma as other adults.
Diabetic Retinopathy – is the most common diabetic eye disease and a leading cause of blindness in American adults. It is caused by changes in the blood vessels of the retina. In some people with diabetic retinopathy, blood vessels may swell and leak fluid. In other people, abnormal new blood vessels grow on the surface of the retina. The retina is the light-sensitive tissue at the back of the eye. A healthy retina is necessary for good vision.
If you have diabetic retinopathy, at first you may not notice changes to your vision. But over time, diabetic retinopathy can get worse and cause vision loss. Diabetic retinopathy usually affects both eyes.
Who is at RISK?
All people with diabetes—both type 1 and type2—are at risk. That’s why everyone with diabetes should get a comprehensive dilated eye exam at least once a year. The longer someone has diabetes, the more likely he or she will get diabetic retinopathy. Between 40 to 45 percent of Americans diagnosed with diabetes have some stage of diabetic retinopathy. If you have diabetic retinopathy, your doctor can recommend treatment to help prevent its progression.
If you have diabetic retinopathy, you may need an eye exam more often. People with proliferative retinopathy can reduce their risk of blindness by 95 percent with timely treatment and appropriate follow-up care.
What do I do if I have already lost vision from DR?
If you have lost some sight from diabetic retinopathy or other ocular diseases, ask your eye care professional about low vision services and devices that may help you make the most of your remaining vision. Ask for a referral to a specialist in low vision. Many community organizations and agencies offer information about low vision counselling, training, and other special services for people with visual impairments.
What is Glaucoma?
Glaucoma is a type of progressive eye damage in which optic nerve cells are damged by excess fluid pressure in the eyeball. It’s the second leading cause of blindness in North America. Glaucoma often runs in families. There are several types of the disease and each is caused by a different disease process that tends to affect different racial groups. Overall, people of African origin are more likely than Caucasians to get glaucoma.
Other risk factors for developing glaucoma include being over 45 years old, having high intraocular pressure (IOP; pressure in the eye), myopia (nearsightedness), diabetes, hight blood pressure, and a history of an eye injury.
The front of the eye is a D-shaped chamber in which the lens and iris (the coloured part) make up the straight wall, while the cornea (the surface of the eye) forms the curved wall. A gland behind the upper eyelid fills this chamber with a clear liquid (aqueous humour) that supplies the front of the eye with oxygen and nutrients and keeps it inflated. A steady supply of liquid is produced, and it drains out through a mesh of tiny holes behind the lower eyelid, called the trabecular meshwork.
In glaucoma, the liquid is produced normally but the trabecular meshwork can’t drain it due to clogging or some other reason. Liquid pressure builds up in the eye, pressing on the optic nerve (the nerve that links the eye to the brain). The nerve cells are then slowly strangled of blood, eventually dying. The outer nerves fail first, so vision loss tends to start at the edges, progressing to ‘tunnel vision’ and blindness. Many people don’t notice this at first, and there’s usually no pain, so glaucoma can be quite advanced before it’s detected. Some estimates state that only 50 percent people with glaucoma are aware of the disease.