Friday, July 10, 2009
Medical Reports: Detecting Disease Through The Eyes
Many people don't find out they have a disease until they have symptoms, but now there's a way to detect problems sooner all by looking into your eyes. In tonight's healthcast, Seven's Christine Cruz takes a closer look at how a new laser eye scan is helping doctors detect everything from diabetes to cancer.
Christa Dodge: "February of last year I started to notice flashes."
Christa Dodge went to the doctor after the flashes started turning out. She had a type of skin cancer in her eye.
Christa Dodge: "Scary to think that was on my eye."
Doctor Gregg Ossip spotted the problem with a one-second laser scan.
Dr. Gregg Ossip: "This is actually the Optomap retinal exam of our patient Christa."
These images show Christa's entire retina, this is the melanoma.
Dr. Gregg Ossip: "It's actually looking through the dark part of the eye. Looking through the pupil to the back of the eye which is the retina, so it's just capturing that image."
The scanner images can spot cancer, glaucoma, macular degeneration, even the early signs of high blood pressure and diabetes. It zooms in on tiny blood vessels if there are hemorrhages in the back of the eye, diabetes or stroke might be in your future.
Dr. Gregg Ossip: "60 to 70 percent of these patients have no idea that diabetes, high blood pressure and these things are found in the back of the eye, and obviously, if you're seeing them in the eye blood vessels, it's happening everywhere else in the body."
Christa says she may lose vision in her left eye but it beats the alternative, having the cancer had spread.
Christa Dodge: "At first, I think I was a little scared about it, but if you think about it, two years is a long time."
Christine Cruz: "Diabetes is the leading cause of blindness in the United States. Doctors believe tools like the Optomap will help them stop the disease before it becomes debilitating."
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