Q: Please describe what the Clear Chart is used for and give a basic sense of how it works.
Dr. Diane Galbrecht: The Clear Chart is a digital chart. It allows the doctor to change the letters easily and quickly in order to obtain at what level a patient can accurately see.
Q: How does the Clear Chart assist in the measurement of visual acuity?
Dr. Galbrecht: The eye doctor can show a whole chart of letters, a single line of letters, and even a single letter if needed. This type of chart also gives the doctor the option to use numbers, a tumbling C or E, and pictures if the patient can’t read. The contrast is much better for patients to see the letters, but can also be dimmed to check for glare or contrast problems.
Q: What is it about this particular technology that you find most exciting; the component that made you feel you need to invest in this for your practice?
Dr. Galbrecht: As technology progresses, the testing materials used also progress. The projection charts used not too many years ago were decent, but didn’t provide the options we have available today. A projection chart can’t play a movie to entertain a 3 year old while testing; a digital chart can.
Q: Can you describe the patient experience when using the Clear Chart?
Dr. Galbrecht: The patient looks at a computer screen and reads the letters they can see when prompted. The doctor will have you cover one eye to be able to test each one individually.
Q: Do your patients appreciate the upgrade in technology?
Dr. Galbrecht: Yes! Patients love it when you can change the letters with a remote control to prevent cheating from memorization.
Q: How does this technology improve patient care and education?
Dr. Galbrecht: This technology is more accurate and allows for better recording of the acuity level the patient is able to read.
Q: Are there specific patients for whom the use of Clear Chart is particularly helpful or useful? Why?
Dr. Galbrecht: This type of testing is most valued when you are testing children or those patients who are diagnosed with ADD. The letters can be changed quickly to minimize memorization. A movie can be played to distract younger children in order to evaluate them easier. And, letters can be replaced by pictures for younger children as well. This allows the doctor to know what a 3 year old may see even if they do not know their letters or numbers by sight.
Q: Can you share a particular story, in which by using the Clear Chart, you were able to provide a patient with a solution or discover a condition which you would not have been able to using previous technology?
Dr. Galbrecht: Sometimes a child or parent does not know they are using only one eye to see. By covering one eye and testing each one separately, we can discover those children who are not using both together. This can lead to Amblyopia (a lazy eye) or Strabismus (an eye turn) and further inhibit the child to learn easily in school.
Q: Why did you choose this supplier to purchase this particular equipment from?
Dr. Galbrecht: We chose Clear Chart because of the excellent reviews among my peers and the ease of use.
The Zeiss GDx VCC assesses the eye from both a structural and functional point of view detecting structural changes in the retinal nerve fiber layer (RNFL), where early signs of glaucomatous structural damage appear.