COA Study Guide for Free - The Ophthalmic Technician

COA Study Guide for Free - The Ophthalmic Technician
Contents
1 Ophthalmic Patient Services & Education
1.1 Patient Education . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
1.1.1 Oculoplastic . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
1.1.2 Cornea . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
1.1.3 Oculomotor . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
1.1.4 Cataracts . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
1.1.5 Glaucoma . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
1.1.6 Retina . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
1.2 Systemic & Ocular Diseases . . . . . . . . .
1.2.1 Diabetes . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
1.2.2 Hypertension . . . . . . . . . . . . .
1.2.3 Graves disease . . . . . . . . . . . .
1.3 Systemic & Ocular Diseases . . . . . . . . .
1.4 Anatomy & Physiology . . . . . . . . . . . .
1.5 Safety Glasses . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
1.6 Patient Instruction . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
1.6.1 Medication . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
1.6.2 Tests . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
1.6.3 Procedures & Treatments . . . . . .
1.6.4 Eye Dressings . . . . . . . . . . . . .
1.6.5 Patient Flow . . . . . . . . . . . . .
1.7 Triage . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
1.8 Forms & Manuals . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
1.9 Vital Signs . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
1.10 CPR . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
2 History Taking
2.1 General History . . . . . .
2.2 Presenting Complaint . .
2.3 Past Ocular History . . .
2.4 Past Medical History . . .
2.4.1 Medical Conditions
2.4.2 Past Surgeries . .
2.5 Medications . . . . . . . .
2.6 Social History . . . . . . .
2.7 Family History . . . . . .
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iv
CONTENTS
3 Pharmacology
3.1 Ocular Medicines (Instilling and Identifying) . . .
3.2 Instilling . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
3.3 Identifying . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
3.3.1 Injected vs Topical vs Systemic . . . . . . .
3.3.2 Color Codes for Topical Ocular Medications
3.4 Educate Patients on Medications . . . . . . . . . .
3.5 Drug Reactions . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
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15
16
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4 Supplemental Skills
4.1 Intraocular Lens Power Calculation
4.2 Anterior Chamber Depth . . . . .
4.3 Pachymetry . . . . . . . . . . . . .
4.4 Calibrate Biometry Instruments . .
4.5 Tear Tests . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
4.6 Glare Testing . . . . . . . . . . . .
4.7 Color Vision Testing . . . . . . . .
4.8 Contact A-Scan . . . . . . . . . . .
4.9 Laser Interferometry (IOL Master)
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5 Visual Assessment
5.1 Visual Acuity . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
5.2 Potential Acuity Meter . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
5.3 Pinhole Acuity . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
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6 Assisting In Surgical Procedures
6.1 General . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
6.2 Instrument Preparation . . . . .
6.3 Refractive Surgery . . . . . . . .
6.4 Sterile Fields . . . . . . . . . . .
6.5 Aseptic Technique . . . . . . . .
6.6 Nonrefractive Laser Therapy . .
6.7 Intraocular Injections . . . . . .
6.8 Sterilization . . . . . . . . . . . .
6.9 Site Identification . . . . . . . . .
6.10 Laser Safety . . . . . . . . . . . .
6.11 Assist with Procedures . . . . . .
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7 Refractometry
7.1 Refractive Errors . . . . .
7.2 Lenses . . . . . . . . . . .
7.3 Automated Refractometry
7.4 Manifest Refractometry .
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8 Medical Ethics, Legal, and Regulatory Issues
8.1 Third-Party Coding . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
8.2 Government and Institutional Rules and Regulations
8.3 Quality Assurance . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
8.4 Ethical and Legal Standards . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
8.5 Scribing . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
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34
35
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36
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CONTENTS
8.6
8.7
8.8
v
Confidentiality . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Informed Consent . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Insurances . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
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36
36
9 Equipment Maintenance & Repair
9.1 Instrument Identification . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
9.1.1 Instruments . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
9.2 Cleaning Instruments . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
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10 Tonometry
10.1 Goldmann Applanation Tonometer
10.1.1 Clean . . . . . . . . . . . .
10.1.2 Disinfect . . . . . . . . . . .
10.1.3 Calibrate . . . . . . . . . .
10.1.4 Measuring . . . . . . . . . .
10.2 Complications . . . . . . . . . . . .
10.3 Other Tonometry Methods . . . .
10.4 Intraocular Pressure Dynamics . .
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11 Visual Fields
11.1 Amsler Grid . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
11.2 Confrontation Fields . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
11.3 Automated Perimetry . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
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12 Pupillary Assessment
12.1 Measure . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
12.2 Compare . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
12.3 Evaluate . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
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13 Lensometry
13.1 Automated Lensometry
13.2 Manual Lensometry . .
13.2.1 Add Power . . .
13.2.2 Prism . . . . . .
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49
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14 Keratometry
14.1 Corneal Curvature .
14.1.1 Astigmatism
14.2 Keratometry . . . .
14.2.1 Calibration .
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52
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53
54
movements
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15 Ocular Motility
15.1 Introduction to muscles & muscle
15.2 Versions & Ductions . . . . . . .
15.3 Tropias & Phorias . . . . . . . .
15.4 Cover Tests . . . . . . . . . . . .
15.5 Stereoacuity . . . . . . . . . . . .
15.6 Nystagmus . . . . . . . . . . . .
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vi
CONTENTS
16 Ophthalmic Imaging
16.1 Slit-Lamp/Anterior Segment Photography .
16.2 Fundus Photography . . . . . . . . . . . . .
16.3 External Photography . . . . . . . . . . . .
16.4 Diagnostic/Standardized A-Scan . . . . . .
16.5 Corneal Topography . . . . . . . . . . . . .
16.6 Scanning Laser Tests for Glaucoma/Retina
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58
59
59
59
59
59
60
17 Spectacle Skills
17.1 Introduction to lenses . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
17.2 Transposing . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
17.2.1 Spherical Equivalent . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
61
62
62
62
18 Contact Lenses
18.1 Measure . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
18.2 Patient Instruction . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
18.2.1 Pathology from Contact Lens Misuse
18.3 Fitting . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
18.3.1 Fitting: Soft Contacts . . . . . . . .
18.3.2 Fitting: Hard Contacts . . . . . . .
18.4 PMMA Lenses (Polymethylmethacrylate) .
18.5 Bandage Contact Lenses . . . . . . . . . . .
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64
65
65
66
66
66
66
67
67
19 Microbiology
19.1 Office Antisepsis . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
19.2 Universal Precautions . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
68
69
69
20 Review of Ocular Diseases
20.1 Orbit . . . . . . . . . . . .
20.2 Extraocular Muscles . . .
20.3 Eyelids . . . . . . . . . . .
20.4 Lacrimal Apparatus . . .
20.5 Abnormalities of the Eye .
20.6 Cornea & Sclera . . . . .
20.7 Anterior Chamber . . . .
20.8 Uveal Tract . . . . . . . .
20.9 Crystalline Lens . . . . .
20.10Vitreous . . . . . . . . . .
20.11Retina . . . . . . . . . . .
20.12Optic Nerve . . . . . . . .
70
70
70
71
71
71
71
71
72
72
72
72
72
21 Practice Test
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73
Preface
This book may be bought from theophthalmictechnician.com.
The purpose of me writing this guide is three fold.
(1) A study guide should be high-yield, not filled with unnecessary information.
(2) A study guide should give the reader opportunity to be tested on material that is
learned to increase retention and learning.
(3) A study guide should be inexpensive.
Textbook overview
The chapters of this book are as follows:
1. Ophthalmic Patient Services & Education. The basic surgeries in ophthalmology.
An understanding of some anatomy. This section also samples a few topics from later
chapters. It is suggested that you read review of Ocular Diseases ??-??before diving
in.
2. History Taking. The basic principles of history taking. What questions to ask. What
are important facts that come up during dialogue between you and the patient.
3. Pharmacology. Introduction to the ophthalmic medications. This chapter also includes information on instilling medications.
4. Visual Assessment. General rules for assessing a patients vision and how to record
what the patient sees. It will also be necessary to know how to convert from metric
units for the exam.
5. Assisting In Surgical Procedures. Knowing what different instruments are and how
to use them are important in assisting in surgical procedures.
6. Refractometry. Obtaining a manifest refraction in both plus and minus cylinder.
7. Medical Ethics, Legal, and Regulatory Issues. An introduction to legal issues within
the scope of ophthalmic assisting.
8. Equipment Maintenance & Repair. An introduction to maintaining instruments.
9. Tonometry. How to obtain eye pressure. Knowing different methods for obtaining
IOP and understanding those measurements.
10. Visual Fields. Know what a visual field is and the basics of common visual pathway
defects.
11. Pupillary Assessment. An introduction to assessing pupillary movement. Knowing
how to find afferent pupillary defects.
vii
viii
CONTENTS
12. Lensometry. Knowing the difference between manual lensometry and automatic lensometry. Also, how to obtain manual lensometry
13. Keratometry. General knowledge of eye curvature and how to obtain keratometry
manually.
14. Ocular Motility. An introduction to eye movement and the six muscles involved in
ocular motility.
15. Ophthalmic Imaging. The differences between ophthalmic imaging equipment and
their uses.
16. Spectacle Skills. An introduction to spectacles. Their components and types.
17. Contact Lenses. An introduction modern contact lenses. Comparing modern contact lenses and safety precautions.
17. Microbiology. Common microbiology related to the eye and how to protect against
infection within the scope of ophthalmology.
Bonus. Review of Ocular Diseases. An general introduction to ocular diseases.
Practice Test. A practice test to aid in preparing for the COA exam.
The COA Study Guide was written in the order of most weighted to least weighted
material. This means that the first chapters are the chapters that will have the most
questions on the exam.
As I wrote this guide I realized that this may not be the optimal way to study since
the most weighted sections pull from other sections of the book. To this day I still think
that this is the best way to organize the information even though it may require the reader
to reference a chapter later in the book while studying the first couple chapters.
Examples, exercises, and appendices
Examples and within-chapter exercises throughout the textbook may be identified by their
distinctive bullets:
Example 0.1 Large filled bullets signal the start of an example.
Full solutions to examples are provided and often include an accompanying table or
figure.
J
Exercise 0.2 Large empty bullets signal to readers that an exercise has been
inserted into the text for additional practice and guidance. Students may find it
useful to fill in the bullet after understanding or successfully completing the exercise.
Solutions are provided for all within-chapter exercises in footnotes.1
1 Full
solutions are located down here in the footnote.
CONTENTS
ix
Why did I write this book
The day came when it was time for me to study for the COA. I wanted to give myself about
2-3 months to study. I heard that my employer had some great study material and I was
anxious to get my hands on it and started studying.
I quickly realized that this was not going to be as straightforward as I thought. Though
the material was very good and comprehensive it was not geared for passing the COA. When
I asked my co-workers how they studied they showed me their books. They highlighted a
few chapters here and there that they studied, but they never read the whole book.
Every book I came across either had a lot of practice questions, but lacked background
information or the text would immerse the reader in background information, but not give
enough practice questions.
That did not discourage me I still used many sources to study for the exam. After a
while I thought that it was a little ridiculous that I was using a combination of 4 books to
study for this one exam, but I pushed through it and passed the COA Exam.
After passing the test I compiled my study notes and added everything I could think
of to pack this study guide with the most essential information for passing the exam. This
is what I came up with. This is the study guide that I wish I had.
Study hard and good luck on your exam. I know you can pass!
Acknowledgements
This project would not be possible without the technicians and doctors that trained me
and were patient with me. I also extend a thank you to all those who purchased earlier,
rough, versions of this guide. The profits from those early days gave me the resources to
put this current edition together.
Work Cited
Stein, H. A. (20122013). The ophthalmic assistant a text for allied and associated ophthalmic personnel (9th ed.). Philadelphia: Elsevier Mosby.
Ledford, J. K. (2012). Certified ophthalmic assistant exam review manual(3rd ed.).
Thorofare, NJ: SLACK.
Newmark, E. (2012). Ophthalmic medical assisting: an independent study course.
(5th ed.). San Francisco, CA: American Academy of Ophthalmology.
Stein, H. A., Stein, R. M. (2006). The ophthalmic assistant: a text for allied and
associated ophthalmic personnel (8th ed.). Philadelphia: Elsevier Mosby.
Root, T. (2012). OphthoBook. United States: amazon.com].
Introduction
I wanted to use this indtroduction to go over some of the basic questions that I had when
I was preparing for the exam.
What is the COA Certification?
The Certified Ophthalmic Assistant (COA) certification is the first step in the ophthalmic
assisting profession. It shows to future employers that you have worked in ophthalmology
for at least 6 months and could pass a test on basic ophthalmology. It is a worthwhile
endeavour and may result in a higher chance of getting a job and, at least in my case, a
pay increase.
How to become a COA
There are three ways to become a COA:
(1) Approved Independent Study Course with 1,000 hours of work experience
This is the most common way to become a COA. You have to work for an ophthalmologist for 1000 hours (6 months full time), take an independent course, and pass
the exam. There are only two independent courses that I am aware of. First, is the
JCAHPO Career Advancement Tool (JCAT). The second is the American Academy
of Ophthalmology Independent Study Course.You will also have to be sponsored by
a doctor before you can set a test date. The cost is $300 for the initial exam, $250
for the first retake if you fail, and $150 for the third retake.
(2) A Non-Clinical Training Program with 500 hours of work experience
If you have done some formal education in a Training Program then you only need
500 hours of work experience.
(3) Clinical Formal Training Program with 0 hours of work experience
Formal Training programs are more common if you want to become a COT or a
COMT. There are some programs that offer COA training, but most COAs just work
under an ophthalmologist.
More more information see JCAHPO Criteria for Certification on page 10. The
sections in the guide was made strictly from criteria described in this packet.
How do I use this guide?
I suggest reading through all of the material and going through the practice questions in
the back of the book. I included concept checklists at the beginning of every sections. Be
x
CONTENTS
xi
able to check off each of the boxes. These checklists highlight concepts that are important
to retain and review before the exam.
What is the Exam Like?
(1) How many questions are on the exam?
The test is 200 scored questions with the addition of 10-25 unscored questions. JCAHPO uses unscored questions to determine if they will be good questions for future
tests.
(2) How much time do I get to take the exam?
The exam is 3 hours.
(3) Where do I take the exam?
The test is taken at a certified testing center. I took my test at a Pearson VUE
testing center.
(4) Is the test on paper or computer?
The COA exam is on the computer. What is nice about the computer based test is
that you can flag answers you dont know and go back to them later.
(5) How long do I need to study and how do I prepare?
This will be different for everyone. I suggest that you study for less than three months.
I have known some people to do it in as little as two weeks. Some people will retain
information better than others.
The best way to retain information is to repeat it. This is especially true for the
subjects that you dont like of that you are not so familiar with.The table I made
on the next page is very similar to how I studied. I studied with the most heavily
weighted content first then worked my way down. There were 2 or 3 sections that I
felt uncomfortable on and wanted to repeat. This layout should get you through all
of the material in about 2 months and still give you some time to repeat sections or
to miss a day. This will give you enough time to soak up all the information you will
need for the exam.
xii
CONTENTS
Study Content & Exam Percent
Content Area
Ophthalmic Patient Services & Education
History Taking
Pharmacology
Supplemental Skills
Visual Assessment
Assisting in Surgical Procedures
Refractometry
Medical Ethics, Legal & Regulatory Issues
Equipment Maintenance & Repair
Tonometry
Visual Fields
Pupillary Assessment
Lensometry
Keratometry
Ocular Motility
Ophthalmic Imaging
Spectacle Skills
Contact Lenses
Microbiology
Exam Percent COA
16
8
8
8
8
7
6
6
4
4
4
3
3
3
3
3
3
2
2
Days to Study
7
2
1
2
2
3
3
2
2
2
2
1
2
1
2
2
1
3
1
Chapter 1
Ophthalmic Patient Services &
Education
This section is the largest and most difficult section. I put this chapter first because it is
good to get the largest section out of the way, but in reality, the material in this chapter
references material from future chapters. You may have to jump around the book a little
to get the most out of this chapter.
Concept Checklist:
1. Have a firm grasp on the following surgeries:
(a) Oculoplastic- Ptosis, blepharoplasty, enucleation, evisceration
(b) Cornea- Keratoplasty, pterygium, LASIK, LASEK, PRK, PTK, RK
(c) Oculoplastic- Ptosis, blepharoplasty, enucleation, evisceration
(d) Oculomotor- Resection and recession
(e) Cataracts- Know symptoms, corneal topography, BAT, PAM
(f) Glaucoma- Trabeculectomy and Iridotomy
(g) Retina- Vitrectomy, photocoagulation, and injections
2. Understand the effect of diabetes, hypertension and graves disease on the eyes.
3. Read Review of Ocular Diseases
4. Review Pharmacology
5. Review Supplemental Skills
6. Review Visual Fields
7. Review Ocular Motility
8. Review Assisting In Surgical Procedures
9. Know all anatomy terms.
10. Know which patients need safety glasses.
11. Know when pressure patches and eye shields are appropriate.
12. Understand patient flow
1
2
CHAPTER 1. OPHTHALMIC PATIENT SERVICES & EDUCATION
13. Know the difference between emergencies, urgent, semi-urgent, and non urgent cases
when triaging.
14. Memorize the normal ranges for vital signs.
15. Know how to perform CPR on adults and infants.
1.1. PATIENT EDUCATION
1.1
3
Patient Education: Surgery
There are a lot of surgeries that patients have to have in ophthalmology. When patients
have questions, you are expected to help answer their questions. The COA exam reflects
this. It will expect you to know the differences among the many surgeries.
1.1.1
Oculoplastic
Oculoplastics have to do with the function and cosmetics of the external features of the
eye. If a patient has ptosis, droopy eyelids, the surgeon will perform a surgery to raise the
eyelids. If a patient has extra skin on the upper eyelids, dermatochalasis, the physician
will perform a blepharoplasty to remove excess skin from the lids.
Oculoplastic surgeons will also perform enucleations and eviscerations. Enucleation is the removal of the entire eyeball leaving only the muscles and orbit intact. Evisceration is the removal of the entire contents of the eye leaving the sclera.
Memorization Trick: Enucleation & Evisceration
Enucleation nukes the entire eye. Evisceration leaves a visible sclera.
J
Exercise 1.1 A patient states that he had a blepharoplasty. What condition did
he need corrected? 1
1.1.2
Cornea
Keratoplasty is when a dying part of the cornea is replaced with donated corneal tissue.
This is also known as corneal grafting or a corneal transplant. Pterygium Surgery
is the removal of tissue which grows over the cornea. Refractive surgeries - Read more
on Assisting in Surgical Procedures under the section refractive surgery . Be able to
describe LASIK, LASEK, PRK, PTK, and RK. REFRENCE NEEDED FOR SUGICAL
PROCEDURES.
1.1.3
Oculomotor
Physicians can correct strabismus crossed-eyes. They do this by either strengthening a
muscle by doing a resection or by weakening a muscle which is a recession. Resections
are performed by shortening the tendon. A recession is performed by attaching the muscle
further back on the eye.
J
Exercise 1.2 As you are reading a patients medical record you see that the patient
has had a resection. Does this mean that the muscle was shortened or attached
further back on the eye? 2
1A
blepharoplasty is a procedure used to correct dermatochalasis.
are performed by shortening the tendon.
2 Resections
4
CHAPTER 1. OPHTHALMIC PATIENT SERVICES & EDUCATION
1.1.4
Cataracts
Cataracts are very common in ophthalmology. It is also common to see questions related
to cataracts on the exam.
Symptoms:
Glare Patients will often say that they see intense glare from oncoming traffic while
driving at night. Or see glare in a room with low lights.
Halos Halos are rings of light around a source of light. This is another common
complaint. Patients will state that they see halos around headlights.
Special tests related to cataract surgery:
Corneal Topography This makes a typographical map of the cornea which gives
the provider information about the shape and curvature of the cornea. Surgeons use
this while planning for cataract surgery.
PAM (Potential Acuity Meter) estimates the vision a patient may have after
cataract surgery. The PAM is a device which attaches to a slit lamp. When the
patient looks into the PAM, a visual acuity chart is seen. The visual acuity chart
lights up, helping the patient see it through media opacities.
BAT (Brightness Acuity Test) gives the most accurate idea of a patients visual
disability. If a patient has a dense cataract they will read worse when testing visual
acuity with the BAT. Many insurances require that a patient have a visual acuity
20
of 20
40 or 50 before they will cover the cataract surgery. The BAT helps achieve this
goal. A patient with a dense cataract may have a visual acuity of 20
25 , but with the
BAT see 20
or
considerably
less.
60
1.1.5
Glaucoma
Glaucoma is death of the optic nerve. High eye pressure is associated with glaucoma. A
decrease in aqueous outflow causes eye pressure to increase.
Important Process: Flow of Aqeuous.
The flow of fluid, aqueous is important when understanding glaucoma related
problems. The flow of fluid is as follows: Aqueous is produced by the ciliary body,
flows through the pupil, over the iris, and out through the trabecular meshwork.
Open Angle Glaucoma - Open angle glaucoma is the most common form of glaucoma. It occurs when the trabecular meshwork is not functioning properly. It is
like a clogged drain. The aqueous cant filter out effectively so more pressure builds
up. To treat open angle glaucoma the physician will first start with drops to lower
eye pressure. He will then move to a trabeculectomy. A trabeculectomy provides
an alternate route for fluid to travel. A laser is used to poke a hole in the limbus.
The aqueous then flows underneath the conjunctiva. This area is a bleb. Remember,
P ressure = F orce/Area. This surgery increases area which decreases pressure.
Closed Angle Glaucoma - There is an angle that is made between the cornea and
the iris. When this angle shrinks, fluid cant drain out of the trabecular meshwork.
This increases eye pressure. To treat Closed Angle Glaucoma the surgeon will do an
1.2. SYSTEMIC & OCULAR DISEASES
5
iridotomy. An iridotomy is a hole made in the iris with a laser. This decreases eye
pressure.
Example 1.3 Describe the flow of aqueous from memory.
Aqueous is produced by the ciliary body, flows through the pupil, over the iris, and
out through the trabecular meshwork.
J
Exercise 1.4 Is open angle glaucoma a problem with too much fluid entering the
eye or not enough fluid leaving the eye?3
1.1.6
Retina
Vitrectomy If a patient has had a vitreous hemorrhage the surgeon may consider
performing a vitrectomy. A vitrectomy is the removal of vitreous from the eye. The
physician may also decide to do a vitrectomy if he wants to do retinal surgery. When
a vitrectomy is performed, oil or a gas bubble is placed inside the eye to help hold
the shape of the eye.
Photocoagulation When a patient has bleeding in the back of the eye it can be
stopped with photocoagulation.Photocoagulation is the use of a laser to coagulate blood to stop bleeding. Patients with advanced diabetic retinopathy may need
photocoagulation.
Anti-VEGF injections VEGF(Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor) causes new
blood vessels to grow. In most cases this is a good thing, but when this occurs in
the retina it can cause vision problems. Patients that are experiencing advanced neovascularization (new blood vessel growth) may receive anti-VEGF treatments which
stop neovascularization.
1.2
Systemic & Ocular Diseases: System
1.2.1
Diabetes
High blood sugar causes problems in both the lens and the retina. Glucose is deposited in
the lens. The high concentration of glucose in the lens causes a large osmolarity gradient
between the concentration of glucose in the aqueous humor outside of the lens and the
concentration of the glucose in the lens. To compensate for this high osmolarity gradient,
water moves from the aqueous to the lens which causes the lens to swell. The swollen lens
causes blurry vision. In the retina, two types of diabetic retinopathy (retinal death) is
seen, NPDR and PDR.
NPDR (Non Proliferative Diabetic Retinopathy) Proliferation refers to the growth
of new blood vessels. With NPDR their is no blood vessel growth, but the physician
will see dots. These dots are small aneurysms(broken vessels) on the retina.
PDR (Proliferative Diabetic Retinopathy) - This is a more serious form of diabetic
retinopathy. PDR is treated with a procedure called scatter laser treatment. The
scatter laser makes over 1,000 burns around the peripheral areas of the retina. This
3 Open angle glaucoma occurs when the trabecular meshwork is not acting as a good drain for aqueous.
It is a problem with no enough fluid leaving the eye.
6
CHAPTER 1. OPHTHALMIC PATIENT SERVICES & EDUCATION
causes blood vessels to shrink. PDR may also result in macular edema, swelling
of the macula. If this swelling occurs the physician may use a focal laser to shrink
abnormal blood vessels.
1.2.2
Hypertension
Hypertension causes ischemia (blood clots) both systematically and in the retina. When
an examiner sees cotton wool spots he is referring to areas of ischemia on the retina.
1.2.3
Graves disease
Graves disease is an autoimmune disease which affects the thyroid. It also affects the eyes
causing bulging of the eyes, exophthalmos.
J
Exercise 1.5 How does Diabetes cause the lens to swell?4
J
Exercise 1.6 Which autoimmune disease is related to exophthalmos?5
1.3
Systemic & Ocular Diseases: Ocular
This section is covered sufficiently in Review of Ocular Diseases
1.4
Anatomy & Physiology
Memorize this list of structures. Be able to locate these structures in the eye.
1. Anterior Chamber
10. Descemets Membrane
20. Nasolacrimal Duct
2. Anterior Segment
11. Endothelium
21. Nasolacrimal Sac
3. Aqueous & Vitreous
Humor
12. Epithelium
22. Optic Nerve
4. Bowmans Layer
14. Iris
5. Bulbar Conjunctiva
15. Lacrimal Gland
6. Canaliculus
16. Lateral Canthus
7. Caruncle
17. Lens
26. Punctum
8. Ciliary Body
18. Macula
27. Sclera
9. Cornea
19. Medial Canthus
28. Stroma
13. Fovea
23. Palpebral Fissure
24. Plica
25. Posterior Chamber
4 High concentrations of glucose in the lens creates a concentration gradient. Water flows into the lens
to balance the concentration causes the lens to swell.
5 Graves disease
1.5. SAFETY GLASSES
1.5
7
Safety Glasses
Safety glasses can be prescribed for people who weld, are at risk for chemical contact with
the eye, and monocular patients. Safety lenses are lenses which are shatter resistant.
Example 1.7 Explain why a monocular patient would want safety glasses.
Monocular patients ought to be given safety glasses to protect the one eye that they
have left.
1.6
Patient Instruction
Patient instruction is an important part of ophthalmic care especially when it applies to
instruction related to medication and ophthalmic testing.
1.6.1
Medication
For this section I would recommend looking at Pharmacology which covers this section
sufficiently. Instruct patients to instill topical eye drops and ointments by pulling down the
lower lid and looking up. Applying pressure to the lacrimal ducts will decrease the amount
of solution absorbed by the body.
1.6.2
Tests
This is an overlap section. Follow the links. Supplemental Skills, Visual Fields, and Cover
Tests. Look under cover tests and stereoacuity.
1.6.3
Procedures & Treatments
I lumped these sections together because all of this information is covered in Assisting In
Surgical Procedures.
1.6.4
Eye Dressings
Pressure patches are used to help the eye heal. The difference between a pressure patch
and an eye shield is that a pressure patch keeps the eye from blinking. To apply a pressure
patch, the technician places a patch to the eye and tapes the patch from forehead to cheek.
If the patient can blink their eye after the patch has been applied then it must be redone
until the patient can no longer open his eye. An eye shield is used to protect the eye. Eye
shields are given to patients who have had surgeries. This keeps the eye protected from
external forces.
1.6.5
Patient Flow
When guiding a low vision patient to the exam room offer your arm. Have the patient hold
near your elbow as you guide them to the room. If the provider is running behind inform
the patients.
8
CHAPTER 1. OPHTHALMIC PATIENT SERVICES & EDUCATION
1.7
Triage
To triage means to determine the urgency of a case. You determine when a patient ought
to be seen by an eye care provider.
Emergencies: Must be seen within minutes
1. Chemical burns
2. Retinal artery occlusions
3. Penetrating eye injuries
4. Sudden vision loss
Urgent: Must be seen within the same day
1. Narrow angle closure glaucoma
2. Corneal ulcer
3. Foreign body
4. Corneal abrasion
5. Acute iritis
6. Retinal detachment
7. Hyphema
8. Blow-out fracture
Semi-urgent: Should be seen within days
1. Semi-urgent Should be seen within days
2. Optic Neuritis
3. Ocular tumors
4. Previously undiagnosed glaucoma
Non urgent: Should keep regular appointment.
1. Gradual blurry vision
2. Needs new glasses
Example 1.8 How would you triage corneal edema?
Corneal edema would be considered an Urgent case.
6
J
Exercise 1.9 How would you triage sudden vision loss?
J
Exercise 1.10 How would you triage sudden a patient who needs new glasses?
6 Sudden
7 New
vision loss would be an emergency.
glasses would be a non-urgent case.
7
1.8. FORMS & MANUALS
1.8
9
Forms & Manuals
This was already covered under Medical Ethics.
1.9
Vital Signs
It is expected that all health care workers know the following vital signs:
Blood Pressure 90/60 120/80 mmHg
Breathing 12-18 breaths/min
Pulse 60-100 beats/min
Temperature 97.8-99.1 degrees Fahrenheit
Blood Sugar 70-92 mg/dl (fasting)
1.10
CPR
Every ophthalmic technician needs to get a CPR (Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation) certification. There will be at least one question testing your knowledge on CPR on the COA
exam.
Adult CPR
(a) Is the scene safe make sure that there are no hazards.
(b) Is the victim responsive does the victim respond to a loud voice or pain?
(c) Call for help Call 9-1-1
(d) Compressions 100 compressions per minute each 2 inches in depth.
(e) Airway Tilt head back, lift chin to open airway.
(f) Breathing Pinch the victims nose closed and give two breaths. Watch for the
chest to rise and fall. Breaths delivered should be a normal breath.
(g) Repeat CAB
Infant CPR
(a) Is the scene safe make sure that there are no hazards.
(b) Is the victim responsive does the victim respond to a loud voice or pain?
(c) Call for help Call 9-1-1
(d) Compressions 100 compressions per minute1 and 1/2 inches in depth.
(e) Airway Tilt head back, lift chin to open airway.
(f) Breathing Apply mouth to the nose and mouth of the baby. Pinching the nose
on an infant is impossible to achieve and be effective. Breaths delivered should
be small puffs of air. Large full breaths could damage the infants lungs.
(g) Repeat CAB (Compression, Airway, Breathing) until victim breathes or help
arrives.
Chapter 2
History Taking
History taking is an important part of the exam. It helps aid the practitioner in making a
correct diagnosis.
Concept Checklist:
1. Be able to define a presenting complaint.
2. Memorize the 8 parts of the HPI (History of present illness).
3. Know the difference between a sin and a symptom.
4. Know the 3 types of questions that should be covered while collecting an ocular
history.
5. Know the 2 areas to cover in the medical history.
6. Know the 3 purposes of recording a list of medications and give examples of medications that fit into these purposes.
7. Know the 2 parts that are important in the social history.
8. List 3 common inheritable ocular diseases. Special tests related to cataract surgery:
10
2.1. GENERAL HISTORY
2.1
11
General History
A history is obtained by asking specific questions. Some people may be harder to get
histories from than others. Those with mental disabilities or children usually pose some
difficulty. It is important that you hear the
2.2
Presenting Complaint
The chief complaint, sometimes called the presenting complaint, is the main reason the
patient is in the clinic. When obtaining information about the onset of a complaint, you
need to know when the patient started to notice that something was not right and how
quickly the symptoms came about. In general, a sudden onset means that the problem is
more serious.
CPT (seeThird-Party Coding) requires the following 8 pieces of information when
collecting a History of the presenting complaint:
1. Location: Where is the problem?
2. Duration: How long have you noticed the symptoms.
3. Context: Is is associated with any other activities.
4. Modifying factors: What makes it better or worse
5. Quality: Describe the pain, Is it an ache, an itch, foreign body sensation?
6. Severity: How would you rate your pain on a scale from 1 to 10?
7. Associated Signs & Symptoms: Is it associated with a headache?
8. Timing Do symptoms come and go or are they constant? history from both the
guardian/caretaker and the patient.
Important Concept: Symptom or Sign
A sign is something that the clinician sees such as redness or high eye pressure.
A symptom is what the patient experiences like flashes, pain, or itchiness.
J
Exercise 2.1 List from memory the 8 peices of information required by CPT1
2.3
Past Ocular History
The following are the types of questions that should be asked when obtaining an
ocular history.
1 Location, Duration, Context, Modifying factors, Quality, Severity, Associated Signs & Symptoms, and
Timing
12
CHAPTER 2. HISTORY TAKING
Refraction These questions help the provider know why the patient is seeing at
his/her current visual acuity and help the provider know what kind of changes
need to be made.
Examples of refraction related questions are: Does the patient have glasses?
What kind of glasses do they have? How old are the glasses? Do the glasses
have prism? Does the patient have contact lenses? Are they hard or soft lenses?
Surgery Have they had ocular surgeries or procedures in the past?
Medication These questions may help the provider know what ocular pathology
the patient currently has. If the patient is taking a beta-blocker then the patient
is being treated for glaucoma. If the patient is taking a steroid then the patient
may be treated for some type of inflammation. Does the patient take any ocular
medication? What are those medications treating?
2.4
Past Medical History
The medical history can be broken down into two parts, medical conditions & surgical
history
2.4.1
Medical Conditions
Many systemic medical problems are relevant to ocular health.
The following are examples of medical conditions that play a big role in ocular health.
Hypertension - Decreased vision via arterial narrowing or retinal vein occlusion.
Diabetes - Causes blurred vision via glucose entering the lens and by neovascularization (in advanced cases).
Asthma - If a patient with asthma is on Albuterol and a beta blocker, which
may be used to treat glaucoma, then that patient can have a bronchospasm.
Autoimmune diseases - Rheumatoid Arthritis causes dry eyes. Patients with
lupus may be on plaquenil and need to have their macula evaluated.
Example 2.2 A glaucoma patient states she has asthma. Why is this important to document?
If the patient is taking a beta blocker it may had an adverse reaction with some
glaucoma drops.
2.4.2
Past Surgeries
These are not just ocular surgeries, but also systemic surgeries.
Common examples I have seen are stents, cholecystectomy (removal of the gallbladder), and heart bypass. Any surgery should be recorded in the patients history.
2.5. MEDICATIONS
2.5
13
Medications
There are three purposes to gathering information about a patients medications:
1. Insight into ocular pathology
Some medication give you a hint on the patients past ocular history and indicate
a current condition such as Lumigan, which is used to treat glaucoma.
Eye care providers prescribe vitamins for patients with macular degeneration.
Diamox, a sulfa containing drug, is sometimes used to control glaucoma. It is
important to note that many patients are allergic to sulfa. If a patients mentions
that a certain medication made them break into a rash you should record that
medication as an allergy.
2. Insight into systemic pathology
Aspirin is a blood thinner. Patients are instructed to sometimes avoid blood
thinners before surgery. Diuretics causes more fluid to leave the bloodstream.
This causes the blood pressure to drop. Beta blockers are also used to treat
hypertension. Flomax - Before getting cataract surgery patients should be
asked if they are taking tamsulosin (Flomax). Flomax is a medication widely
prescribed for urinary symptoms associated with enlargement of the prostate.
An analgesic is a medication used for pain relief.
3. Medications that cause ocular pathology
Medications can cause ocular problems such as plaquenil, which may cause damage to the macula. Steroids are used to treat conditions such as rheumatoid
arthritis, but may increase the risk for developing cataracts and may increase
IOP (Intraocular Pressure).
J
Exercise 2.3 A retina patient states that he is allergic to sulfa drugs. What
is one drug that he should stay away from?2
J
Exercise 2.4 What is the purpose of a diuretic?3
2.6
Social History
Social history can be broken down into two parts.
1. Occupational setting
Knowing a patients occupation is relevant. If glasses are being prescribed you
need to know what their occupation is. Do they work on a computer? Do
they read? Are they at risk for eye injury? These type of questions help the
ophthalmologist prescribe the correct glasses for the patient. Some occupations
pose a risk for trauma. Welders might get metal in the eye. Landscapers will
also be at risk for foreign bodies and pterygiums.
2. Habits
Does the patent drink alcohol, smoke, use recreational drugs?
2 Diamox
3 Diuretics causes more fluid to leave the bloodstream. This causes the blood pressure to drop and urine
production to increase. Some people refer to these medications are water pills.
14
CHAPTER 2. HISTORY TAKING
2.7
Family History
There are many disorders in ophthalmology that are inheritable. Common inheritable diseases include glaucoma, strabismus (misalignment of the eyes), and myopia.
Secondary glaucoma is not inheritable. Secondary means that it was caused by
something else.
Chapter 3
Pharmacology
The pharmacology section will test your ability to identify medication, know how to
instill them, and recognize reactions to medications.
Concept Checklist:
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.
6.
7.
Know the steps involved in instilling eye drops.
Compare and contrast injected, topical, and systemic medications.
Be familiar with the color codes for ocular medications.
Know the effect of anesthetics, mydriatics, and glaucoma drops.
Compare and contrast solutions, suspensions, and emulsions.
Be able to recognize an allergic reactions to medications.
Know the importance of irrigation in the event of chemical burns.
15
16
CHAPTER 3. PHARMACOLOGY
3.1
Ocular Medicines (Instilling and Identifying)
Eye drops are used in ophthalmology to:
1. Dilate the pupil
2. Numbing the eye
3. Treat Bacterial infections
4. Treat allergies
5. Treat viral infections
One disadvantage of eye drops is that they do not have long contact with the eye.
If the eye requires prolong treatment then an ointment is prescribed. The problem
with eye ointment is that it blurs the patients vision.
3.2
Instilling
Instilling eye drops is routine for the ophthalmic assistant. Though it is something
that is done many times a day for the ophthalmic technician it is important to know
the steps and some terminology.
Important Process: Instilling Drops
• Ask the patient to tilt his head back.
• Ask the patient to look up. The patient may also look down to distribute the
drop over the cornea, but this is only advised when absorption of the drop is not
necessary as with artificial tears.
• Pulling down the lower lid.
• Putting the drop in the inferior fornixa of the eye.
a The
3.3
3.3.1
inferior fornix is in the botom lid.
Identifying
Injected vs Topical vs Systemic
Sometimes injections are needed to treat patients with certain disorders. Injections
have several advantages over topical medication. Injections can be provided at a
specific site such as in the eye or in one of the muscles of the eye. Injections take
effect immediately and can be delivered in higher concentrations.
One disadvantage of injections is that they are invasive
Topical medications are drops placed directly on the eye. An example of a topical
medication would be glaucoma drops. These drops are placed directly on the eye
3.4. EDUCATE PATIENTS ON MEDICATIONS
17
and function to open the trabecular meshwork (the drainage system of the eye) or
to decrease aqueous production from the ciliary body. One advantage of topical eye
drops is that many of them do not go systemic. Their actions mainly affect the eye.
Systemic Medication affect the whole body. They are taken orally, by injection,
or by inhaler. If a patient presents with shingles that patient may receive a systemic
oral medication. If a patient has a severe reaction epinephrine, a systemic injection,
is given.
3.3.2
Color Codes for Topical Ocular Medications
Class
Color
Anti-infective
Anti-inflammatory/steroid
Mydriatics and cycloplegics
Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatories
Miotics
Beta-blockers
Beta-blocker combinations
Adrenergic agonists
Carbonic anhydrase inhibitors
Prostaglandin analogues
Tan
Pink
Red
Gray
Dark Green
Yellow
Dark Blue
Purple
Orange
Turquoise
1
Example 3.1 A patient can’t remember what medication he is on, but he
knows that the cap color is tan. What medication is he on?
Tan caps signify Anti-infective drops.
J
3.4
Exercise 3.2 A patient can’t remember what medication he is on, but he
knows that the cap color is pink. What medication is he on? 2
Educate Patients on Medications
Anesthetics
After instillation of an anesthetic it is important to tell the patient to not rub
their eyes. This is because patients cant feel if they are rubbing their eyes
to hard. They may damage their eyes. Also, anesthetic eye drops are never
prescribed for patients to take home. Patients who have had a foreign body
removed may want to take anesthetic drops. This is not advised! Anesthetic
drops cause corneal melting which will slow healing.
Dilation (Mydriatics and cycloplegics)
Patients who undergo dilation can expect to have light sensitivity and blurry
vision. Near vision is affected more than distance vision.
1 The American Academy of Ophthalmology has approved the use of color codes for the caps of topical
medication.
2 A Pink cap signifies Anti-inflammatory or steroid drops.
18
CHAPTER 3. PHARMACOLOGY
Glaucoma Medication
Patients with glaucoma are given glaucoma drops. These drops unlike drops used
to treat infection, are continued until the doctor decides to change treatment.
Patients may be on a scheduled drop for glaucoma for the rest of their life. These
drops usually do not improved vision, but slow down or stop the progression of
glaucoma. It is important to stress the importance of being faithful to glaucoma
drops to slow the onset of blindness.
Mixture Types: Solution, Suspension, Emulsion
Solutions
Solutions contain a solute dissolved in a solvent. Salt water is a solution.
Proparacaine is an example of a solution used in ophthalmology.
Suspension
Suspension drops are not one solution. If you had a cup of muddy water over
time you will see that the particles will drop to the bottom. Pred Forte is
a steroid suspension. It is important to shake suspension well before using
them.
Emulsion
An emulsion is a solution in which the components do not blend. An example
of this would be vinaigrette dressing. Durezol is an emulsion. Just like you
shake vinaigrette before you use it you also want to ask patients to shake an
emulsion drop before they use it.
Example 3.3 Which mixture type is most important to shake? A solution,
suspension, or emulsion?
A suspension is most important to shake every time before use. Emulsions may
also need occasional shaking.
J
Exercise 3.4 Which mixture is most like a vinaigrette?
3.5
3
Drug Reactions
Allergies
There may come a time when patients receive a medication that they are allergic
to. You can tell that a patient is having an allergic reaction because they may
have the following symptoms:itching, redness, and swelling. Sometimes this can
be so bad that it looks like the patient got hit in the face. An allergic reaction
this bad is nicknamed allergic shiner.
Irrigation
When a harmful substance enters the eye the first thing that the provider must
do is irrigate the eye.This is the case with chemical burns.
3 Emulsions?
Chapter 4
Supplemental Skills
Supplemental skills consist of tests that an ophthalmic assistant ought to know or
perform.
Concept Checklist:
1. Read Review of Ocular Diseases
2. Know the measurement that are frequently used when calculating intraocular
lens power.
3. Know how to assess anterior chamber depth explain why it is important to
check before dilating.
4. Know the purpose of pachymetry and how to perform it.
5. Know the difference between Schirmer s test 1 and Schirmer s test 2.
6. Know the purpose of Rose Bengal.
7. Know the importance of glare testing and why it is important as a diagnostic
test before cataract surgery.
8. Know the purpose of the color vision test (Ishihara Color Test).
9. Know the purpose of the Contact A-Scan.
10. Compare and contrast the Contact A-Scan and the IOL Master.
19
20
CHAPTER 4. SUPPLEMENTAL SKILLS
4.1
Intraocular Lens Power Calculation
When a surgeon performs cataract surgery he does not want to put in any lens. He
needs to make an educated decision on what lens would cause the light to converge
on the retina just right. To make this decision the physician needs the following
information:
1. Refraction The most current manifest refraction.
2. Keratometry The curvature of the eye A-constant. The A constant that comes
with the IOL Master Axial length This is the distance between the anterior
and posterior poles of the eye, the distance between the tip of the cornea to the
retina.
4.2
Anterior Chamber Depth
The Anterior Chamber is the fluid-filled space between the posterior cornea and the
lens. Evaluating anterior chamber depth is important in testing for narrow angle
glaucoma. If a patient has narrow angles and dilation drops are instilled into the
eye the outflow of aqueous can be shut off completely which will raise intraocular
pressure and damage the optic nerve. Use three sets of data when evaluating anterior
chamber depth.
1. Hyperopia- hyperopia, in some patients, causes the iris to bow-out. Normally
an iris should be somewhat flat like a plate or a disk. When an iris bows-out it
is shaped more like a parachute. The more positive the spherical value of their
prescription the more likely they are to bow-out. When an iris bows-out it may
cause constricted flow of the aqueous through the trabecular meshwork.
2. Pen Light- Shine a penlight across the eye. If the side opposite from the source of
light casts a shadow that is a bad thing. that means that the iris is bowing-out.
If the iris is bowed out then it needs to be checked on a slit lamp.
3. Slit Lamp- This is the ultimate test. Shine a narrow beam of light at an angle on
the limbus(The area where the iris and the white of the eye meet). Two beams
of light should be seen. The first beam of light is the reflection off of the cornea
and the second beam of light is the reflection off of the iris. The larger the gap
between these two reflections the better. If there is no gap then the patient may
have narrow angles.
4.3
Pachymetry
A pachymeter is used to test corneal thickness. Most corneas are about 500 micrometers. The thickness of the cornea is useful when evaluating glaucoma.To perform this
test instill an anesthetic, place the probe on the center of the cornea, and hold until
the measurement is complete.
4.4. CALIBRATE BIOMETRY INSTRUMENTS
4.4
21
Calibrate Biometry Instruments
Biometry instruments must be calibrated. To know how to calibrate a particular
biometry instrument consult the user manual.
4.5
Tear Tests
1. Schirmers test This test tests for sufficient tearing. The test is performed by
putting filter paper under the lid. There are two types of Schirmers test.
(a) Schirmers test 1 The patient is given anesthetic to test baseline secretions
(b) Schirmers test 2 The patient is not given anesthetic to test baseline secretions + reflex secretions. Reflex tears are a response to irritation.
2. Tear Break-Up Time Tear break-up is an area of the eye that is dry caused
by lack of tears. A physician will measure the time it takes for the tear film to
break up.
3. Rose Bengal- This test is used on patients with dry eye. It is like fluorescein,
but it binds much tighter to degenerated epithelial cells and not to living cells.
This makes it a better indicator of corneal damage due to dry eyes. The one
disadvantage is that it is more painful than fluorescein.
Example 4.1 Which Schirmers test uses an anesthetic?
Schirmers test 1
J
Exercise 4.2 What is the difference between rose bengal and fluorescein?
4.6
1
Glare Testing
Patients with cataracts many times complain of glare. A patient may read 20/30,
but when light is shining toward the eye the patient may only be able to read
the 20/60 line. If there is a large difference in vision due to glare the cause is
most likely are cataract.
4.7
Color Vision Testing
In our eye we have two main types of photoreceptors. These are the rods and
cones. Cones are responsible for our color vision. The colors that our cones
respond to are red, green, and blue. Ishihara color plates are used to test for
color blindness. The most common color defects are red-green color deficiency.
1 Rose
bengal binds tighter to degenerated epithelial cells.
22
CHAPTER 4. SUPPLEMENTAL SKILLS
4.8
Contact A-Scan
Contact A-Scan is a regular test performed before cataract surgery. This information is needed when determining the IOL (intraocular lens) power the patient
should be given. The patient is given local anesthetic then a probe is placed on
the eye. This probe evaluates the axial length of the eye. The axial length of
most eyes should be 23-24mm. One disadvantage to using a contact A-scan is
that the axial length may be smaller than it really is due to the force of pressing
the probe on the eye too hard.
4.9
Laser Interferometry (IOL Master)
The IOL master, like the contact A-Scan, can measure axial length. The benefit
of using the IOL master is that it is non contact which means that it does not
have error due to pressing on the eye like the contact A-Scan. The IOL master
uses infrared light to measure the length of the eye. The IOL master can also
be used to find keratometry.
Chapter 5
Visual Assessment
Visual assessment is a small, but important section of the test. It will be necessary to convert acuities from feet to meters.
Concept Checklist:
1. Know how to test visual acuity.
2. Know how to convert from feet to meters.
3. Compare and contrast the pinhole and the potential acuity meter (PAM).
23
24
CHAPTER 5. VISUAL ASSESSMENT
5.1
Visual Acuity
Visual acuity is tested by asking the patient to read letters of different sizes.
Visual Acuity
Visual acuity is broken into a numerator, the top number, and the denominator,
the bottom number.
The numerator represents the test distance. The denominator is the number that
represents what the patient can see compared to a normal eye.
Example 5.1 Explain what the numerator and denominator are describing
in the visual acuity of 20/20.
20/20 Means that at 20 feet the patient can see what a normal eye can see
at 20 feet.
Example 5.2 Explain what the numerator and denominator are describing
in the visual acuity of 20/60.
20/60 Means that at 20 feet the patient can see what a normal eye can see
at 60 feet.
J
Exercise 5.3 Explain what the numerator and denominator are describing
in the visual acuity of 15/20. 1
J
Exercise 5.4 Explain what the numerator and denominator are describing
in the visual acuity of 20/15. 2
Important Concept: Converting Visual Acuity from feet to meters.
You will also need to know how to convert any acuity to 20/x. I had a couple
questions on the test which tested my ability to convert from meters to feet.
These are the steps you can take to do the conversion:
1. Divide the numerator and denominator by 3.
2. Multiply the numerator and denominator by 10.
Example 5.5 Convert 6/18 meters to feet.
6÷3
2
1.
=
18 ÷ 3
6
2 × 10
20
2.
=
6 × 10
60
J
1 15/20
2 20/15
Exercise 5.6 Is a visual acuity of 6/6 better than 20/25?
Means that at 15 feet the patient can see what a normal eye can see at 20 feet.
Means that at 20 feet the patient can see what a normal eye can see at 15 feet.
3
2
6÷3
=
6÷3
2
2 × 10
20
2.
=
2 × 10
20
3. 6/6 = 20/20 which is better than 20/25.
1.
3
5.2. POTENTIAL ACUITY METER
25
You will also be expected to know how to document vision worse then 20/400.
If the patient cant see any of the letters on the snellen chart hold up fingers and
see if the patient can read them. Record the distance at which the patient could
count the number of fingers you were holding. CF5 means that the patient could
count fingers at 5 feet. If the patient cant count fingers then wave your hand in
front of the patients eye. If the patient can tell that you are waving your hand
then record that as HM.
If the patient cant see your hand waving then shine a light in the patients eye.
If the patients sees the light record it as LP(Light perception). If the patient
cant see the light record it as NLP(No light perception)4 .
Important Process: Visual acuity rules
There are some rules that a patient needs to follow when testing visual acuity.
1. The patient needs to be corrected with best corrected vision. This means
that if the patient has glasses the patient ought to wear those glasses during
the exam.
2. The patient needs to cover one eye while the other is being tested.
3. The patient should not squint. Squinting acts like the pinhole, which I will
talk about later in the post. This will give a falsely high acuity.
5.2
Potential Acuity Meter
The potential acuity meter (PAM) is an eye chart that can be attached to the
slit lamp and light up. The purpose of the PAM is to see what the patients
vision is without media opacities.
5.3
Pinhole Acuity
The pinhole will increase VA if the cause of poor VA is due to refraction. If the
cause of poor VA is an retinal pathology then the pinhole will not improve VA.
This works because the hole that the patient looks through blocks all misaligned
light rays and allows central rays to focus on the retina.
4 Light perception is different from light projection. While light perception is the ability to see light,
light projection is the ability to locate where the light is coming from.
Chapter 6
Assisting In Surgical
Procedures
Before reading this section I would recommend at least skimming Review of
Ocular Diseases so that you are confident with common pathologies before you
read about how those pathologies are treated surgically.
Concept Checklist:
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.
6.
7.
8.
9.
10.
11.
12.
13.
Read Review of Ocular Diseases.
Know what a minor procedure is.
Memorize the instruments in their uses.
Memorize the 5 refractive surgeries.
Be able to identify a sterile field.
Be able to identify aseptic techniques
Know the difference between sterile and aseptic.
Know the difference between argon, krypton, yag, and excimer lasers.
Know when ocular injections are used.
Know different methods of sterilization.
Know the three parts of site identification.
Understand laser safety.
Know proper hand washing techniques when assisting in surgery.
26
6.1. GENERAL
6.1
27
General
What is a minor procedure?
A minor procedure is a simple procedure that can be performed with minimal risk. Many of these procedures are performed in the clinic. Examples
of minor procedures are chalazion removal, punctal plug insertion, and foreign
body removal.
Incision vs Excision An incision is cutting into tissue. While and excision is
cutting tissue out.
Incision vs Excision
An incision is cutting into tissue. While and excision is cutting tissue out.
6.2
Instrument Preparation
The trick to this section is to know what each of the instruments do. In all
reality physicians may vary a little in what instruments they like to use. For
this reason it is better to memorize what the instruments do then to memorize
an exact set up for a procedure. This way you will be able to pick out instrument
sets that dont make sense for a certain procedure.
Instrument
Purpose
Calipers
Measure ocular structures
Cannula
Delivers fluid. Think Canal
Clamps
Isolates tissue
Forceps
Grasping
Probes aka Dilators Open canals
Speculum
Separates eyelids
cyroUses cold
cauteryUses heat
electrolysisUses electrical pulses
6.3
Refractive Surgery
LASIK: Laser-Assisted in situ Keratomileusis Similar to PRK in that
a laser is used to reshape the eye. It is different from PRK in that a flap
is created to access the treatment area. After the laser has reshaped the
eye the flap is placed over the treatment area again. In PRK this layer is
removed and discarded.
LASEK: Laser-Assisted Sub-Epithelial Keratectomy Near identical
to PRK, but instead of removing the flap the surgeon weakens the epithelial
layer with alcohol, folds it out of the way of the treatment area then folds
it back after treatment with the laser.
PRK: Photorefractive keratectomy Near identical to LASEK. The corneal
epithelium is removed and a laser is use to reshape the cornea.
28
CHAPTER 6. ASSISTING IN SURGICAL PROCEDURES
PTK: Phototherapeutic keratectomy This is used to treat corneal
scars.
RK: Radial Keratotomy Uses a diamond blade to make cuts radially
around the cornea. This changes the index of refraction so that the light
focuses better on the retina. This is not as popular as it was in the past.
Note: in situ means in living.
Example 6.1 What is the difference between RK and PTK?
RK and PTK are very different surgeries. PTK is used to treat corneal scars
while RK uses radial cuts to change the index of refraction.
J
Exercise 6.2 What is the difference between LASEK and PRK?
6.4
1
Sterile Fields
The sterile field is a field that is free of microorganisms. For example, if a
surgeon if performing a cataract surgery then the sterile field would be the
area immediately around the patient and the physician from the operating area
up. If an unsterile object touches a sterile object the sterile object becomes
contaminated.
6.5
Aseptic Technique
Aseptic means without infection. Sterile techniques are to major surgeries as
aseptic techniques are to minor procedures. The purpose of aseptic techniques
is to reduce the chance of a wound infection. The skin is still disinfected and
gloves are still worn. Minor procedures usually dont require a sterile gown and
mask.
6.6
Nonrefractive Laser Therapy
Lasers are common in ophthalmology it is important to know what different
lasers their are and for what procedures they are used. Laser got its name from
the following acronym.
L-Light
A-Amplification (by)
S-Stimulated
E-Emission (of)
R-Radiation
1 During LASEK the surgeon weakens the epithelial layer with alcohol, folds it out, then folds it back
in place after the procedure. During PRK the corneal epithelium is removed.
6.7. INTRAOCULAR INJECTIONS
29
Lasers used in ophthalmology are either thermal lasers or photodisruptive
lasers.
There are two thermal lasers.
1. Argon green/blue color (focal laser, panretinal, trabeculoplasty treatments)
2. Krypton red/yellow color
Thermal lasers are used for coagulation in surgeries such as diabetic retinopathy
and hypertensive retinopathy
There are two photodisruptive lasers: There are two photodisruptive lasers:
1. Yag The Yag (yttrium-aluminum-garnet) laser is a infrared photodisruptive
laser. It is used in iridotomies and disrupting tissue surrounding an opacified
capsule.
2. Excimer(argonfluoride) The Excimer is ultraviolet (cant be seen) Photodisruptive lasers are used to cut tissue in surgeries such as Clearing an opacified
capsule.(YAG) Refractive surgeries (PRK, PTK, LASIK, LASEK)(Excimer)
6.7
Intraocular Injections
Intraocular injections are used to treat:
Wet macular degeneration
Retinal vein occlusions
Diabetic retinopathy
Before initiating an intraocular injection Betadine should be put around the
injection site. The physician then injections the medication into the eye within
a few seconds. When the physician has finished the injections the sharp must
be placed in the sharps container.
6.8
Sterilization
Please review Microbiology
After an instrument is used it should be cleaned of all debris and placed in an
enzymatic solution.
Three effective sterilization procedures are:
1. Boiling
2. Autoclave (a machines that creates really hot pressurized steam)
3. Germicides (disinfectant)
6.9
Site Identification
Site identification is a way to make sure the the correct procedure is being
performed on the correct eye.
Site identification includes the following:
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