PINE BROOK, N.J., Jan. 11, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- January is Glaucoma Awareness Month and Diopsys wants to help educate patients about the importance of catching glaucoma early. The American Optometric Association reports that glaucoma is the second leading cause of blindness in the US. According to Prevent Blindness America, glaucoma is often called the "sneak thief of sight" since half of all patients who have it do not know it because central vision may not be affected until later stages of the disease.
To diagnose and manage glaucoma, optometrists and ophthalmologists may take pictures of the structure of the eye and may also use visual field testing. Traditional visual field tests consist of the patient looking into the center of a concave dome and pressing a button when they see a flash of light. Eye doctors also use visual evoked potential (VEP) testing to enhance diagnosis and treatment.
VEPs are electrical signals that measure the electrophysiological activity in the visual center of the brain. VEP results are a representation of how well the visual system functions from the eye to the visual cortex. This technology is also used for a variety of applications that involve neuro-visual disorders including glaucoma, amblyopia, multiple sclerosis and diabetic retinopathy, among many others.(1,2,3,4)
"I've been using the Diopsys® NOVA-VEP in my practice, together with visual field tests and HRT scans to help me diagnose glaucoma patients and to track their disease progression," says Dr. Fran Bucciero of Family Vision Care in Springfield, NJ, "It's important for me to know how well the vision system is functioning as a whole, as well as how the structure of the eye looks."
There is currently no cure for glaucoma, but if caught early, medications and sometimes surgery, can help slow the progression of the disease and help prevent further vision loss. Dr. Bucciero recommends that "people at risk for glaucoma should visit their eye doctor for a yearly eye exam."
Diopsys, Inc. (http://www.diopsys.com/) is a medical instrumentation company dedicated to delivering high-quality, cost-effective preventative health care solutions. The company specializes in the development and marketing of patient-friendly, non-invasive vision testing equipment utilizing Visual Evoked Potential (VEP) technology.
(1)Prata TS, Lima VC, De Moraes CG, Trubnik V, Derr P, Liebmann JM, Ritch R, Tello C. Short Duration
Transient Visual Evoked Potentials in Glaucomatous Eyes. J Glaucoma. 2011 May 10. [Epub ahead of print]
(2)Simon J, Siegfried J, Mills M, Calhoun J, Gurland J. A New Visual Evoked Potential System for Vision Screening in Infants and Young Children. Journal of AAPOS. 8.6 (2004): 549-554.
(3)Garcia-Martin E, Pueyo V, Ara JR, Almarcegui C, Martin J, Pablo L, Dolz I, Sancho E, Fernandez FJ. Effect of optic neuritis on progressive axonal damage in multiple sclerosis patients. Mult Scler. 2011 Jul;17(7):830-7. Epub 2011 Feb 7.
(4)Parisi V, Uccioli L. Visual electrophysiological responses in persons with type 1 diabetes. Diabetes Metab Res Rev. 2001 Jan-Feb;17(1):12-8.
SOURCE Diopsys, Inc.