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University Eye Clinic broadens its field of view

17 June 10

The Eye Clinic at the University of Bradford will now be able to provide reassurance to patients regarding their eye health, following the addition of an innovative ultra-widefield camera to their collection of cutting edge eye examination equipment.

Douglas Anderson, the inventor of the Optomap camera, has presented the Bradford School of Optometry and Visual Science with the camera on behalf of the company, Optos. As well as providing a great benefit to patients, the Optomap will be also be invaluable in teaching optometry students about the detection and diagnosis of eye disease.

The Optomap system at the University Eye Clinic is the only ultra-widefield camera system in Bradford. It provides a 200 degree view of the back of the eye (retina), something that is not possible with any other technology. This means that practitioners and patients can view parts of the eye that would otherwise not be seen and therefore many conditions can be diagnosed at a much earlier stage.  There are a number of sight threatening conditions that can affect the peripheral retina and in many cases; patients are unaware of a problem.

The announcement of the new equipment comes during Universities Week, a national campaign involving over 100 higher education institutions, aiming to highlight the positive impact universities have on society, culture and the economy. The University of Bradford is proud to be supporting Universities Week and is delighted to be able to further improve the eye health of the local population.

Douglas Anderson developed the Optomap after his five-year-old son lost his sight in one eye following a retinal detachment that was diagnosed too late.  Retinal detachment is when a hole or break in the retina results in the retina peeling off with a subsequent loss of vision.  Had the Optomap been developed the Douglas’ son would have been able to have treatment to prevent the retina detaching.

Douglas said: "I was delighted during my visit to the Bradford eye clinic to meet so many enthusiastic and committed teaching staff. Over the coming months we hope Optos' advanced imaging technology will make a big contribution to training students.

“It is not only a great diagnostic tool but also an amazing teaching aid. We see great scope to enhance students understanding and ability to detect and diagnose diseases at the back of the eye. We know this will greatly enhance their clinical confidence and of course the level of patient care they will be able to provide patients when they qualify".

The new equipment will also provide the opportunity for local optometrists, general practitioners and Ophthalmologists to refer patients to the Eye Clinic at the University for retinal imaging.  The Eye Clinic already provides this service to local eye care practitioners for other specialist diagnostic equipment, such as corneal mapping (topography) and imaging of the retinal structure (OCT), and the Eye Clinic will shortly be offering an electrodiagnostics service.

Dr Graham Mouat, Clinical Director of Bradford School of Optometry and Vision Science, said: “We at the Eye Clinic are absolutely delighted to have been gifted an Optomap scanning laser ophthalmoscope by Optos.

“This is a £95,000, state-of-the-art instrument that will allow us to easily image the peripheral retina in a few seconds.  Conventionally this requires a skilled, time-consuming examination. Now that we will be able to quickly and routinely carry out this kind of examination this will make a huge difference both to the level of patient care we are able to provide and to the training of our undergraduate Optometry students.”

The Eye Clinic is open to members of the public. For more information and to book an appointment call 01274 234649.

17 June 10

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For further information please contact the University of Bradford Press Office on 01274 23 3089/3084.

Out of office hours call 07879 437996. Alternatively, e-mail or fax on (01274) 236280.