New Technology helps Identify Macular Degeneration

Age-Related Macular Degeneration (AMD) is a hereditary disease that develops as one ages. AMD is one of the leading causes of vision loss and blindness in America, occurring in 4-7% of African Americans and impacting over 45% of Non-Hispanic Caucasians.

Generally, AMD is split into the “dry form” and “wet form.” The dry form occurs when small retinal defects, called drusen, form and slowly enlarge. When the drusen becomes larger, the retina swells and new, leaky, blood vessels grow which is the hallmark of the wet form of AMD.

Causes of this degenerative process include genetics, smoking, obesity and exposure to blue light. People with AMD have more difficulty driving at night and slowly lose their central vision, making it difficult to read and see details of faces. During the wet form of AMD, patients experience rapid vision loss and are treated by medication injected into the eye.

How does Tumwater Eye Center identify drusen and initiate early treatment? At Tumwater Eye Center’s new office, they invested in imaging technology to identify drusen at their earliest stages. Dr. Finch at Tumwater Eye says, “Having newer technology allows us to identify changes much earlier than we have been previously, which helps us reduce the incidence of blindness among our patients.” This medical eye center’s advanced technology features high resolution cameras to monitor drusen.

Tumwater Eye’s latest technology can specifically analyze delayed dark adaptation, which is the cause of reduced or worsening night vision. Congruently, this means the technology can identify AMD before the disease even appears.

This testing has been shown by the latest research to identify AMD years earlier than other examination types. Newer treatment strategies for AMD include specific supplement recommendations based upon genetic testing, protections from damaging blue light, and nutritional counseling to decrease body inflammation as well as improve overall health.

For Additional Information
tumwatereye.com

Meet Clarus Eye Centre’s Executive Director

When you meet Marta De La Torre, the new executive director at Clarus Eye Centre, you will be impressed by how genuine, courteous, collected and engaging she is. She says with a smile that she has been interested in health care “since she was almost 2”! The New England native has traveled around the world and now calls Tumwater home.

De La Torre says one of the most interesting positions she has held in her career was as a third-party health care administrator for the government of Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. Health care in that country, she says, was different because of gender inequality. “A male doctor can only work on males and female doctors only on females,” De La Torre explains. She said they also have different entrances to medical facilities.

Perhaps inspired by that experience, De La Torre, a mother of three and grandmother of eight, is interested in mentoring young women. She thinks it is important to build up all people to foster strong community.

What attracted De La Torre to Clarus Eye were the long-term employees at the location. She says employees of such long tenure provide an unparalleled level of expertise. She was also impressed that the practice is celebrating its 50th anniversary. “There is a lot to celebrate!” she says.

One of De La Torre’s working goals is to offer a tuition program for employees who want to go back to school. She also wants to cultivate an optical training program at the local colleges. She aims to help Clarus engage with schools and continue to build its relationship with families and the community.

“This job comes as a welcome challenge and a responsibility,” says De La Torre. She looks forward to giving back to the community and carrying into the next 50 years the legacy of compassionate service that Clarus Eye Centre has become known for.

Clarus Eye Centre

345 College St SE, Lacey, WA 98503

360.456.3200

claruseye.com