Optometrists eye up AMD risk-screening device at Optrafair

Over 300 optometrists tested the new portable MPS II macular pigment scanner on the Topcon stand at Optrafair 2013.

The event comes ahead of the announcement of the AREDS 2 trial next month which is widely expected to produce more evidence for the importance of screening macular pigment in patients at risk of age-related macular degeneration (AMD).

The MPS II from Elektron Technology, distributed by Topcon, is the most advanced device available for identifying those patients who need to improve their diet and lifestyle to reduce their risk of AMD. It is a fun and easy test to do, accurately recording a macular pigment reading in just 90 seconds.

Michael Pepper, Proprietor of Barnet Pepper, Caernarfon, North Wales, said he would consider using the device as part of his macular screening service particularly for younger people in their 40s who might not be aware of the ways in which you can decrease your risk of developing AMD in later life. “I am impressed by how easy it is to administer the test,” he commented.

Akhtar Jaffer, Practice Administrator from the Dunstable Eye Centre in Bedfordshire, said he enjoyed doing the test – and was pleased with his high MP result. “The demographic in our practice is over 60% of senior citizen patients and MP screening could be an ideal additional service for us to offer alongside retinal imaging, dry eye clinics and field screening.”

Barry Lever, Managing Director of Complete Eyecare in Banbury, Oxon, purchased an MPS II on the stand at Optrafair and has had it installed already. He said: “The independent sector needs to be an active part of the new reorganised NHS – we should be prioritising informing patients about the risk of conditions like AMD and helping to manage those risks alongside GPs and ophthalmologists.

“After today, we will be producing an A4 report for our patients including tomography, undus and now macular pigment – so they can show their GP.”

Manjeet Kaur Dhani, Dispensing Optician from Boots in Barkingside in London, said: “This is a useful and neat device. It’s compact and very quick.”

But Gemma Toomey, Dispensing Manager from Merthyr Optical Centre in South Wales, pronounced herself “surprised” with her low MP result.

“I must look at my diet,” she said. “I think using the MPS II is a great way to engage with patients to take both AMD and the ways in which they can decrease their risk of developing the disease a lot more seriously – and doing this test is such a quick way of getting their serious attention. I think it’s a great wake up call – at least it is for me!”

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