Our practice has just purchased an advanced corneal tomographer called the Oculus Pentacam. This advanced device allows us to visualize and quantify both the anterior and posterior surfaces of the cornea. We are one of only two private practices in San Francisco with this type of device.
A traditional corneal topographer is a machine that many optometric and ophthalmology practices own and gives you basic information about the curvatures of the cornea. A topographer is able to quantify the amount of astigmatism that is in the eye using concentric Placido discs. Astigmatism refers to the oval-like or football-like shape of the front refractive surface of the eye. Astigmatism can be corrected with glasses, contact lenses, LASIK, or Toric intraocular lenses during cataract surgery. There are also certain eye diseases that can lead to abnormal astigmatism, causing distorted vision and difficulty seeing and tolerating the usual glasses or contact lenses (e.g., Keratoconus). A topographer is only able to map out the front surface of the cornea.
A corneal tomographer (like the Oculus Pentacam or the Galilei G4) is much more advanced and allows us to visualize using Schiempflug imaging technology both the front AND back of the corneal surfaces. Knowing the back surface of the cornea and its shape allows to gain even more insight into total astigmatism and the overall power of the cornea, which can affect refractive outcomes and vision with contact lens fittings, and after LASIK, PRK, or cataract surgery. The difference can mean good vision versus outstanding vision! It allows us to also take a picture of the angle of the eye and measure corneal thickness at the same time, which is important in diagnosing glaucoma and even conditions where there is an abnormality in the ciliary body or iris. The scan itself only takes 2 seconds and is painless and quick.
We at Eyecare Associates of San Francisco are excited to offer this technology now for all of our patients who come to our downtown Union Square office!