New NSU College of Optometry ophthalmic laser treats multiple eye conditions
TAHLEQUAH – Northeastern State University’s Oklahoma College of Optometry has a new ophthalmic laser to treat various eye issues thanks to a donation from Oklahoma’s Nix Foundation.
The machine, manufactured by Ellex, is the Tango Reflex, which combines multiple treatment platforms for open-angle glaucoma, narrow-angle glaucoma, floaters and post-cataract surgery capsular opacification or cloudiness into a single laser system.
The state-of-the-art laser also combines live video projection and recording capability to teach optometry students and residents about the varied and evolving uses of lasers in eye care.
“The Tango Reflex laser system can lessen, or in some instances, even eliminate the need for strict patient compliance with a prescription eyedrop regimen or invasive surgical procedures for certain eye conditions,” Dr. Nate Lighthizer, assistant dean at NSUOCO, said. “Having such a cutting edge machine at NSU’s Oklahoma College of Optometry will give students and residents even more experience with laser treatments for various ocular conditions, as well as benefit individual patients in our community who will now have a safe potential alternative treatment for certain chronic eye conditions that may severely limit their quality of life.”
The Tango Reflex is the third optometry equipment purchase the Nix Foundation has made for NSUOCO. In 2012, the foundation provided funding for a low-vision machine, Macular Integrity Assessment. This device includes a scanning laser that makes it possible to evaluate a baseline and subsequent changes in people with central vision loss, often due to macular degeneration.
In 2017, the Nix Foundation funded the purchase of a Vivid Vision machine that helps patients, particularly young children or previously-untreated adults, develop depth perception and synchronize their brain and eye movements.
Candidates for a laser treatment for the above conditions must first be evaluated by a licensed optometrist and referred to NSUOCO to determine if they meet treatment qualifications.
NSUOCO students, residents and faculty also provide optometry services at all Cherokee Nation health clinics, W.W. Hastings Hospital and on campus at NSU in Tahlequah and Broken Arrow.