Every year, some 16,000 babies in the U.S. experience loss of vision due to retinopathy of prematurity (RoP), with 400 to 600 becoming legally blind, according to the National Eye Institute. When babies are born prematurely, their retinal blood vessels don't always develop fully, and the abnormal vessels are more prone to leaking and contracting. If that causes the retina to detach, babies can lose some or all vision.
A new handheld device, developed in part by biomedical engineers at Duke University Medical Center, uses something called spectral domain optical coherence tomography (SD OCT) to create a 3D image of the back of the eye.
Duke Eye Center ophthalmologist Cynthia Toth compares the process to inspecting fish from the side of an aquarium instead of through an ocean's murky surface; the 3D high-resolution map reveals the retina's layers in intricate detail "at almost the cellular level," she says.… Read more