Tuesday, October 29, 2013

NEI Looking at Adaptive Optics

If you've ever been sleep-deprived, you've probably had a firsthand glimpse of the blood vessels in your eyes. But what you haven't seen—and what many eye care professionals cannot see as well as they would like—are the vessels closest to the retina, the light-sensitive tissue at the back of the eye, according to a National Eye Institute (NEI) spokesperson. The federal agency is helping researchers develop new retinal imaging methods to solve this problem. Such methods have the potential to improve diagnosis and treatment of common eye diseases like age-related macular degeneration (AMD) and diabetic retinopathy. These diseases can cause a variety of defects in blood vessels inside the eye, including vessel loss, the growth of abnormal vessels, and small bulges that can rupture (called aneurysms).

Adaptive optics (AO) is one technology helping to overcome this problem. It deals with the tendency of light to become distorted as it passes through different media such as air, water, or living tissue. AO was originally developed because astronomers wanted to get a clear view of objects in space, without distortions caused by the atmosphere. But vision scientists and eye care experts have a similar problem: When light is shined into the eye, it is distorted by the cornea (the front, transparent part of the eye) and the lens. AO systems typically use a sensor to measure the pattern of blurring and a flexible mirror to correct it. Read more.

No comments:

Post a Comment