Dr. Josiah Young answers patients' most common questions about the Corneal Topographer:
1) Please describe what the topographer is used for and give a basic sense of how it works.
Corneal topography uses light to create a topographical map of the front of the eye. We use this device to determine the precise curvature at every point on the cornea.
2) What components, or how much of the eye, does the topographer look at and give imaging?
The topographer looks at the very front surface of the eye called the cornea. This is where contact lenses are worn or where thinning can take place in certain diseases of the eye.
3) What types of eye diseases and disorders can be discovered?
We use topography to detect corneal diseases like keratoconus, pellucid marginal degeneration, and post-operative problems like corneal thinning after LASIK surgery or corneal transplants. We also use it for fitting soft and gas permeable contact lenses and measuring high amounts of astigmatism.
4) What is it about this particular technology that you find most exciting; the component that made you feel a need to invest in this for your practice?
This technology allows us to more precisely fit contact lenses. It also gives us the ability to treat conditions with specialty contact lenses.
5) Can you describe the patient experience when using the topographer?
This test is simple and non-invasive. The patient rests their head in front of the machine, looks at a special target, and the machine automatically takes the measurements. It takes less than 30 seconds to obtain the measurements.
6) Do the patients that walk through your doors day in and day out, appreciate the upgrade in technology?
Patients appreciate being offered the latest technology. Opticare Vision Centers have always been known to utilize new technology to provide the best patient care experience.
7) How does this technology improve comprehensive eye exams compared to the days when we did not have a topographer in the optometric office?
The measurements obtained in topography help us customize the design of your contact lenses better than ever before. This results in more precise fitting contact lenses, which provide better comfort and sharper vision. Because of this device, we have been able to fit special contact lenses on people with corneal problems that previously were not able to be treated. When used properly, these special lenses can often restore vision to near normal in individuals who could not see well in glasses due to their condition.
8) To what patients do you recommend using the topographer?
All contact lens patients can benefit from using the topographer. It is especially useful for patients who have corneal degenerations, had LASIK, or have had other corneal surgeries.
9) Can you share a particular story in which, by using the topographer, you were able to detect and treat a disease that would have otherwise gone undetected?
There was a patient who had corneal transplants a few years prior to his appointment. He had been previously given glasses and told he could not wear contact lenses. One of his eyes was worse than 20/100 vision in his glasses. He had given up hope on being able to see well out of that eye ever again.We were able to obtain a corneal topography to find out that the surface of the transplant cornea was wavy, which prevented him from seeing well. We used the measurements taken from the topographer to design a special contact lens that fit over the transplant, which got him to see 20/25. He was extremely happy to be able to wear contact lenses, but more importantly, to regain his vision in that eye.