Monday, June 24, 2013

AMD Distortion Help with Optical Physics

Dr. Stephen Buck commented on how the application of optical physics might be helpful to patients with visual distortion caused by age related macular degeneration (AMD). “Even with the very successful treatment of macular degeneration with Lucentis® injections, we still encounter patients who experience a disturbing distortion and twisting of their vision resulting from macular degeneration,” explained Dr. Buck.

Nobel Laureate Walter Kohn described a potential application of what is a dynamic “translator” for the particular distortion a patient experiences either in handheld computers or an optical corrective lens. “We routinely use the Amsler Grid, a graph-paper-like pattern to diagnose AMD-Dr. Kohn suggested that the Amsler grid could also be used to develop an optical correction,” said Dr. Buck.

When people with healthy eyes look at the Amsler Grid, they see its straight horizontal and vertical lines, with a dot at center. Patients with AMD, however, often perceive a distortion about two or three centimeters in diameter in the center.


Dr. Kohn has initiated the development of software that lets an AMD patient, using a mouse, pull the virtual lines until he or she perceives the grid as “perfect,” yielding reversal of the specific distortion a person experiences. Dr. Kohn then uses these results to create a correction for that patient. In one experimental device, a handheld computer scans the printed page, using software to perform dynamic compensation, distorting the text to make it readable for patients. In addition, Dr. Kohn uses of a slab of optical material to fabricate the visual correction so that AMD patients could hold the optical slab of refractive material over text, pictures or reading material, just like the magnifying glass people use for seeing small type—only the surface of Kohn’s slab resembles ocean currents or waves that reverse the distortion. 
 
If you or someone you know has questions about macular degeneration of visual distortion please call Northwest Indiana Eye & Laser Center at 219-464-8223, or visit Northwest Indiana Eye & Laser Center or facebook.com/nwindianaeyeandlaser.  
 
Northwest Indiana Eye & Laser Center in Valparaiso, IN is staffed by a team of Ophthalmologists, Optometrists, Opticians, technical and administrative staff who provide eye examinations for adults and children, cataract surgery and intraocular lens implants (IOL), laser vision correction such as LASIK, diagnosis and treatment of diseases of the retina including diabetes and age related macular degeneration and diagnosis and treatment of glaucoma as well as contact lenses, eyeglasses, eyewear and optical services. We are conveniently located for patients seeking eye care from throughout northern Indiana including La Porte, Mishawaka, South Bend, Michigan City, Crown Point, Merrillville, Chesterton, South Haven, Westville, Hebron, Lowell, Valparaiso and Walkerton as well as Chicago, Illinois suburban areas of Frankfurt, Calumet City, Monee and Crete.