Pink Eye &
Spectral Domain Ocular Tomograph (OCT)
OCT is an extremely advanced 3D scan of the eye for people of all ages. It works in a similar way to ultrasound but uses light waves rather than sound waves. This allows us to illustrate the different layers that make up both the front and back of the eyes.
How Does It Work?
Using light reflected from the front or the back of the eye, the OCT creates a highly detailed picture in two or three dimensions. This can give your optometrist a view of your eyes on a microscopic level. The major benefit of this is that it allows us to literally see beneath the surface, allowing them to view structures and sections of the eye that would be otherwise invisible.
Never before has it been easier to find out the exact state and location of a particular eye condition. We can then review the images on a PC screen and pin point areas of concern by digitally peeling back the layers until they define any areas requiring further investigation.
Having an OCT scan taken is a quick and easy process. Nothing comes into contact with the eye and it is completely pain free. You will be asked to look at a target and the scan will be taken in less than a minute, much like getting a photograph taken
Which Conditions Can Be Detected Through OCT?
By utilising OCT scanning, we can now detect a number of key eye conditions, such as glaucoma, age-related macular degeneration (ARMD) and diabetic eye changes during a routine eye examination. These conditions can often be detected earlier than would be possible without these images.
*OCT TESTING IS INCLUDED WITH EVERY ROUTINE ADULT EYE EXAM
What Is Dry Eye?
Three thin layers compose the tear film to coat and protect the eye. When one of these components is missing or when too few tears are produced, the tear film breaks down producing dry areas on the eye. This causes dry eye symptoms - a feeling of itchiness, grittiness, burning sensation, and discomfort. The paradox of this disease is that most patients complain of watery eyes. This is because of reflex tearing, which turns on the waterworks, but without lubrication, your eyes still feel dry like a waxed car in the rain.
Aside from contact lens wear, the most prevalent cause of dry eye is natural aging. At age 65, the eye produces 60% less lubrication than at age 18. Systemic inflammatory conditions such as rosacea and arthrtitis contribute to the severity of dry eye. Several medications and dry environments such as indoor winter heating exacerbates dry eye. As well, computer use is a contributing facts as “when we think we don't blink” while reading or especially on the computer; inflammatory systemic diseases such as arthritis are also associated with dry eye.
During a regular eye exam, Dr. Workman assesses the lubricating ability of the tear film using a yellow dye applied to the eye in conjunction with a biomicroscope. Traditional treatments include a variety of artificial tear products. Many of the new ocular lubricants last longer and are more effective in coating the eye. Omega-3 fatty acid supplements (fish oil or flaxseed oil) are now standard treatment.
Although there is no cure for dry eye, there are new prescription treatments for dry eye that include anti-inflammatory drops, lid wipes and oral medication available on prescription from your local pharmacist.
For any red eye or allergy, Dr. Workman provides prompt ocular health assessment using a slit lamp (basically a large, table‑mounted microscope with a chin rest) with a yellow dye. This instrument is essential to properly diagnose any pink eye, but is not available in your walk-in clinic. It is crucial that more serious conditions, such as iritis are ruled out; accurate diagnosis leads to proper treatment and resolution. Like most local optometrists, in addition to testing for ocular diseases such as pink eye, dry eye and glaucoma, Dr. Workman is also certified to prescribe the medication to treat them, thus, providing continuity of care without the need to involve another eye doctor for a simple Rx.
Is it Pink Eye or IRITIS?
Since April 2011, Ontario optometrists who are TPA certified have prescribing authority for an extensive list of medications that include antibiotics, steroids, glaucoma medications, and even pills for certain conditions. Like almost all local optometrists, Dr. Workman has maintained his credentials to offer this service to treat pink eye, allergies, iritis, dry eye, and glaucoma.
During cold & flu season, NDEC experiences a spike in pink eye cases, often related to viral infection. Pink eye is a general term for conjunctivitis – an inflammation of the white covering of the eye that can be caused by dry eye, allergies, or infection. Although common with children, it is rare for a healthy adult to have bacterial pink. The cold virus on the other hand can cause pink eye often from eye rubbing with contaminated hands or coughing in close quarters. Thus, it can spread quickly among children. Antibiotic eyedrops are ineffective against allergies or viral infection, and can cause problems of their own.
For any red eye, Dr. Workman provides prompt ocular health assessment using a slit lamp (basically a large, table‑mounted microscope with a chin rest) with a yellow dye. This instrument is essential to properly diagnose any pink eye, but is not available in your family doctor’s office. It is crucial that more serious conditions, such as iritis are ruled out.
Iritis is basically an inflammation of the iris - the coloured part of the eye. Acute cases usually affect only one eye and are characterized by pain, extreme light sensitivity, redness, decreased vision & watery discharge. In fact, some patients even need to wear sunglasses indoors to cope. It can be caused by trauma, sinusitus, internal eye infections, reduced immunity from stress or flu, or systemic inflammatory diseases such as arthritis, Crohn's disease. Statistically, 4 individuals in Scugog will have active iritis at this moment. This condition can be mistaken for pink eye; delayed treatment can threaten vision. If not treated promptly with a regimen of anti-inflammatory eyedrops, the swollen iris may block fluid flow within the eye leading to a sudden and painful case of acute glaucoma which can damage vision. With treatment patients need to be monitored closely for resolution and spikes in eye pressure. Patients with urgent conditions are typically seen promptly at NDEC.
Patients should choose their eye doctor based on reputation and quality of care; Ensure your eye doctor is certified to prescribe drugs for ocular conditions.