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New diagnostic machine keeps First Insight on tip of technology PDF Print E-mail
By Jan Rahn
Managing Editor
    Staying on the cutting edge of technology in order to best serve their patients, First Insight of Grant and Imperial is now taking advantage of a newly manufactured imager for eye care.
    According to Dr. Tim Meyer, the new machine he purchased can take 56,000 scans of the eye in two seconds.
    It’s incredible for early detection of macular degeneration or glaucoma, said Meyer, along with catching any eye defect caused by diabetes before any permanent damage is done to the eye.
    Meyer said his new OCT (optical coherent tomography) machine is the only one within a 200 mile radius.
    “They are few and far between,” he said. “It’s one of the most powerful ways to find and track glaucoma.”
    The new equipment can detect the earliest forms of macular degeneration–when new treatments are effective. In later stages, macular degeneration is very difficult to treat, said Meyer.
    Dr. Meyer opened a private practice in Grant in 1981. An additional office/clinic was created in Imperial in 1985. There is a total of six employees who work either part-time or full time between the two clinics.
What Is OCT
    Optical coherence tomography (OCT) is a relatively new diagnostic apparatus that provides high-resolution, cross-sectional imaging of ocular tissues within the eye.
    The noninvasive procedure is used to measure retinal and macula thickness to study and monitor diseases of the eye.
    The commercially available OCT machines were originally developed by a team of bioengineers and eye doctors at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Boston.
    The original machine was marketed in 1995 and revised in 2001 to be more user friendly and patient friendly.
How OCT Works
    The technique is similar to ultrasound, except that light, rather than sound waves, is used.  
    Display of color represents different regions of either low or high optical reflectivity.
    Cross-sectional images of the retina are produced using the optical backscattering of light in a fashion similar to ultrasonography.
    Retinal thickness can be measured, and diabetic retinopathy, macular holes or other disorders of the eye can be diagnosed.