Handheld eye diagnostic tool now available

By Sheryl Kay • Published: March 12th, 2014
Category: Health in a Heartbeat

Have you ever had your eyes checked? The chart can be a challenge, but the actual device that checks for pressure and other structural issues looks a bit more daunting. With its chin rest, forehead holder, and multiple lenses, the machine resembles something from a sci-fi movie set.

But this machine could become a thing of the past with the recent invention of a handheld diagnostic tool. The new ophthalmic-screening instrument is slightly larger than an advanced point and shoot camera.

The notion of a handheld diagnostic tool for the eye is not new, but the technology incorporated in this model is the first to combine 3-D imaging, a tiny micro-electro-mechanical systems mirror for scanning, and technology that adjusts for inadvertent movement by the patient., This device uses beams of infrared light that, when echoed back to the machine, can reveal a host of issues including diabetic retinopathy, glaucoma and macular degeneration … often at the early stages. The benefits with such technology are twofold. Not only is it better to be diagnosed early, but the new device would also allow eye care professionals to perform evaluations outside of the office. Currently, patients must visit offices that offer the traditional sit down diagnostic tool in order to be screened.

Studies have shown that while almost one-fifth of the population has eye problems, most people show no obvious symptoms. This is of particular concern with the rise of diabetes, which often leads to eye problems.

Because the device is new, the costs associated with it are high, so it may be a while before your local eye doctor starts using it. But that should not stop you from getting your eyes checked. Your peepers are the only pair you have got, so take care of them.