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Get better results with adaptive optics technique

Among all the major ophthalmic related diseases, glaucoma is one of the world’s leading causes of irreversible blindness. Visualizing the optic nerve has been the basic requirement for detecting glaucoma. However, technology has played a major role in getting quicker diagnosis for glaucoma which is multi-factorial. In terms of glaucoma, getting better results is now possible with a new technology called the Adaptive Optics technique.

Adaptive Optics as a technology allows one to look at an in-vivo cell level evaluation of the tissues of the eye where one can actually look at the nerve cells, nerve fibre layers. It does not give you a count which we have to look in detail trace value but it actually allows you to look at and actually count the cells. One of the best advantage of using the Adaptive Optics technique is that it allows to look at the optic nerve structure all the way down upto 100 microns deeper into the nerve as against the normal OCGs which allows to look at just  the anterior most part of the optic nerve. The nerve is the one which carries all the impulses to the brain and that depth wise evaluation with Adaptive Optics allows you to look at whether there is a change in the structure of the lamina cribrosa. Meanwhile also the changes in the lamina cribrosa have been documented worldwide when you have glaucoma, but everybody has only been able to look at the superficial aspect but with the help of Adaptive Optics we are now going about 100 microns deeper or even more for that matter, asserted D.r Rajesh S Kumar, Deputy Director of Research, Consultant Glaucoma Services, Narayana Nethralaya, Bengaluru.

Compared to the existing techniques, this new Adaptive Optics provides a greater degree of accuracy for eye tracking and because of the short scan time involved with this technique, eye motion itself represents an obstacle to taking images of the retina. Computational adjustments and modeling have been able to correct for aberrations caused by eye motion between frames. However, by tracking these aberrations based on changes to the retina between pictures, the effect of light on the individual orientation of the cone can be tracked. Research conducted using this technique have yielded data on how the retina tracks movement at the microscopic level. The high degree of specificity and the ability to focus the laser on different levels of the eyes with Adaptive Optics has additionally allowed for real time tracking of blood flow in the eye.

Narayana Nethralaya in Bengaluru is one among the few centers where this Adaptive Optics testing technology is available. The equipment was installed about two years ago. Relating about its working to Techspirit, Dr Rajesh said: “The Adaptive Optics equipment is just like a camera. All you need to do is sit in front of the device, it is non-contact, fast, and is just like taking a photo of the eye so it is absolutely painless. All it does is takes multiple sections of the eye in very in-depths and then there is no chance of aberrations. It gives more detailed cell level sort of evaluation of the eye. With this it is like taking a histo-pathological section of the real eye which we cannot do unless the eye is removed. We are able to do it without having to take out the eye, cut through and put it in a microscope, we are able to do it in real time in a live patient and in real eye.”

The technology can be used for any age group of people. However further research on its efficacy are still going on.

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Luna Dewan

Luna Dewan

With six years of her journalism experience, Luna Dewan has worked for leading print media like the New Indian Express, Deccan Chronicle and DNA. She has been writing on healthcare, environment and various other civic issues. She is now with Techspirit.in as the Assistant Editor.

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