Technology! It’s everywhere. Remember listening to music on cassette tapes? They were replaced by shiny, better sounding CD’s. Which were then replaced by streaming music online, which will eventually be replaced, too. If you think it’s hard to keep up with changing technology, you’re right.
But there’s no question that technology has improved our ability to care for people’s vision and eye health. Almost every single piece of equipment that I used to examine eyes when I first began practicing twelve years ago has now been replaced by something newer, faster, and better. Without exception, the new technology has enabled us to provide better care than we could before. From our “no air puff” eye pressure device to our digital retinal camera, the technology in our office helps us examine patients more comfortably and efficiently, and helps us diagnose and treat eye diseases more effectively.
But even with all of the technology being common place anymore, every now and then something new comes out that really makes you say “wow”. Recently, a device became FDA approved that uses amniotic membrane tissue to help eyes heal from infections and injuries. Yes, the same amniotic membrane tissue that is present in the placenta during pregnancy. This tissue is donated by mothers during elective cesarean section births, and has natural healing properties that reduce pain, inflammation, and scarring.
We have had patients with potentially sight threatening corneal infections whose prognosis for visually recovery was poor. Each time we have used an amniotic bandage in a case like this, I have been amazed at how quickly the eye has healed, and at how little scarring has resulted. These bandages have helped patients go from potentially losing vision to maintaining clear vision. To that, all I can say is “wow”!