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Optometric equipment changes over time and we believe its important to look at how new technologies can improve the eye health of our patients. One key innovation that we have adopted is Digital Retinal Imagining which offers a superior view of the eye. This means that some problems that may be missed in a normal optometric consultation can now be identified.
DRI is an advanced technology that produces an image of the rear part of your eye. A digital image is produced of the retina, macula, optic nerve and retinal blood vessels to give us a very close picture of your eye and allow us to asses eye health. Retinal imaging can be used to asses your eye health showing evidence of glaucoma, macular degeneration and other eye diseases. It can also detect diabetes and melanoma.
Fundamentally, the equipment consists of a high quality digital camera attached to a powerful microscope. The camera can see through the pupil to focus on the back of your eye producing the image. The technology allows immediate examination of results but the other main use of the technology is to get a baseline reading of your eye. Everyone’s retina is different, having a high quality photo as a reference can help us notice any changes in your eye help us identify any problems early when treatment is most effective.
There is a great deal of misunderstanding about colour blindness and colour deficiency. Colour blindness does exist but it is a very rare condition in Australia. Colour deficiency, however, is quite common. Did you know, eight percent of men and around half a percent of women have congenital colour deficiency? Many people with the condition don’t know either. Recent Australian research indicates that a fifth of people with the condition were not aware of it and of the people that did know, a third of them were unaware of it until they left school.
If people are living comfortably with this condition, you may well ask, what’s the problem? Well, there is evidence that undetected colour vision deficiency in students can dramatically affect their learning. Furthermore, some professions require perfect colour vision.
So how is colour vision assessed? Standard procedure is to use Ishihara plates. These are a set of numbers written with coloured dots. They provide a quick and accurate assessment of whether a colour deficiency exists. Two other tests can help to identify and define the deficiency. The Farnsworth D15 in which the viewer arranges colours in a particular order and the Medmont C100 which defines exactly which colours cannot be easily distinguished by the viewer.
Colour deficiency varies among those that experience it and many people with colour deficiency can enter the profession of their choice even if they have the condition. To do so they are required to complete a Farnsworth Lantern test to assess their level of colour distinction.
Colour deficiency can affect lives, particularly children’s lives, but diagnosis dramatically reduces the impact of colour deficiency. If your child is having trouble at school, has never been assessed for colour deficiency or has colour deficiency but isn’t sure to what degree and of what type, an assessment can have a huge impact on his or her learning. Because colour deficiency is linked with sex chromosomes boys are particularly likely to have the condition, and it is often inherited.
We all see the world differently but colour deficiency should not be an unnecessary obstacle to achievement and fulfilling potential.
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