One of the most common eye-related ailments in health care, cataracts can quickly develop into a significant disorder without sufficient diagnosis or treatment.
A clouding of the biconvex lens structure at the front of the eye that usually refracts light onto the retina to enable vision, cataracts is the leading cause of blindness worldwide according to the World Health Organization; outranking notables diseases including malaria and diabetes.
Cataracts account for a significant proportion of vision impairment cases in the U.S., particularly in older people who have difficulty accessing eye care due to a lack of accessibility or excessive cost. Over 24.4 million Americans age 40 and older are affected, equating to one in every six people in this age range.
While most cases of cataracts arise following long-term exposure to sunlight’s ultraviolet radiation, diseases like diabetes and lifestyle factors including cigarette smoking, diet and alcohol consumption are also cited as causes. Congenital cataracts can even present at birth due to genetic defects, developmental problems or exposure to rubella.
Among the most effective techniques for diagnosing the presence of cataracts is slit lamp imaging.
Using a high-intensity light source to shine a thin slit of light into the eye, slit lamp imaging works in conjunction with a biomicroscope to examine anterior and posterior segments of the human eye such as the natural crystalline lens.
By examining eye structures in detail using slit lamp imaging’s magnified views and illumination techniques, ophthalmologists and optometrists can observe microscopic details in the eye’s transparent, translucent and opaque structures. Eye care professionals monitor changes in a patient’s pathology such as new vessels, cataracts and pterygium to provide anatomical diagnoses for cataracts and a variety of other eye conditions including conjunctivitis, corneal injury, diabetic retinopathy, macular degeneration and retinal detachment.
If media such as the lens or the cornea become opaque, optical images of the eye can become difficult to read. To resolve this, the latest software enhancement for the Fundus Photo Software Platform includes special filter techniques and auto-enhancing features that clean up slit lamp images to improve the diagnosis of patients with dense media.
Speaking on Fundus Photo’s software platform and its benefits for detecting cataracts and other conditions, Dale Brodsky, CEO of Fundus Photo, explained: “Our latest software enhancement, which is tailored to slit lamp imaging, underlines Fundus Photo’s commitment to bringing high quality, affordable eye care to as many patients as possible.”
“By improving image quality, our software helps ophthalmologists and other eye care professionals perform image comparisons, pre- and post-surgery documentation and teaching duties.”
“In doing so, these practitioners can continue their ongoing research into the healthy functioning of the eye’s lens to better understand the causes of cataracts and how they might be prevented.”
“By refining the diagnostic process for ophthalmologists, we are determined to lower the estimated $6.8 billion in domestic direct medical costs that accumulates for patient treatment medical prescription services related to the treatment of cataracts every year.”
A 2010 study of prevalence rates for cataracts in the United States by the National Eye Institute revealed that the proportion of adults diagnosed with cataracts triples between the ages of 52 and 62, jumping from 5.22 to 15.45 percent respectively. By the age of 75, the probability of cataracts reaches 49.5 percent.
To limit the threat of vision loss as a result of cataracts, consult your local ophthalmologist for a pre-emptive slit lamp screening today.
About Fundus Photo
Fundus Photo is the only ophthalmic digital imaging provider in this segment to earn US FDA 510(k) and ISO clearance for commercial distribution in the United States in accordance with Medicare program requirements. The company’s technology also offers system versions in full compliance with DICOM standards. To read Fundus Photo’s DICOM conformance statement, click here. For more information about Fundus Photo’s complete imaging solutions, click www.fundusphoto.com.