Thursday, October 10, 2013

Physics May Help AMD Vision Problems

Principles and techniques of optical physics may help patients with vision problems from AMD,” said Birmingham Eye Doctor Dr. Marc Michelson of Alabama Eye & Cataract Center.”Sometimes even with quick diagnosis and treatment of macular degeneration, patients with AMD experience some compromise in functioning due to optical distortion problems. The application of optical physics may let us help with this disturbing distortion and twisting of their vision resulting from macular degeneration,” explained Dr. Michelson.

Nobel Laureate Walter Kohn described a potential application of what is a dynamic “translator” for the particular distortion a patient experiences either in handheld computers or an optical corrective lens. “We routinely use the Amsler Grid, a graph-paper-like pattern to diagnose AMD-Dr. Kohn suggested that the Amsler grid could also be used to develop an optical correction,” said Dr. Michelson. When people with healthy eyes look at the Amsler Grid, they see its straight horizontal and vertical lines, with a dot at center.  Patients with AMD, however, often perceive a distortion about two or three centimeters in diameter in the center.

Dr. Kohn has initiated the development of software that lets an AMD patient, using a mouse, pull the virtual lines until he or she perceives the grid as “perfect,” yielding reversal of the specific distortion a person experiences. Dr. Kohn then uses these results to create a correction for that patient. In one experimental device, a handheld computer scans the printed page, using software to perform dynamic compensation, distorting the text to make it readable for patients. In addition, Dr. Kohn uses of a slab of optical material to fabricate the visual correction so that AMD patients could hold the optical slab of refractive material over text, pictures or reading material, just like the magnifying glass people use for seeing small type—only the surface of Kohn’s slab resembles ocean currents or waves that reverse the distortion. “These are very exciting ideas and offer promise to help us deal with the visual distortion caused by macular degeneration,” offered Dr. Michelson.

If you or someone you know has a question or would like to learn more optical physics, age related macular degeneration or AMD or need to schedule and eye exam for AMD, please feel free to call Alabama Eye & Cataract Center in Birmingham at 205-930-0930, visit Alabama Eye & Cataract Center or

Michelson Laser Vision and Alabama Eye & Cataract Center are leading eye care centers in Birmingham staffed by a team of specialists including eye doctors who are fellowship trained cornea specialists and cataract and lens implant specialists-all board certified Ophthalmologists & Corneal Specialists-as well as Optometrists, Opticians, technical and administrative staff who provide eye examinations for adults and children, cataract surgery and intraocular lens implants (IOL), laser eye surgery such as LASIK for laser vision correction, diagnosis and treatment of cornea disease including cornea transplants, care for diseases of the retina including diabetes and age related macular degeneration and diagnosis and treatment of glaucoma and fitting of eyeglasses and eyewear.

Michelson Laser Vision are leading Birmingham eye care practices with offices at 327 Summit Boulevard, Birmingham, Alabama 35243, and Alabama Eye & Cataract Center, 1201 11th Avenue S., Suite 501, Birmingham, Alabama 35205.