Importance of magnification in small animal surgery... - Veterinary Practice
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Importance of magnification in small animal surgery…

FREDDIE LIFELY of UKloupes explains the benefits of loupes in small animal surgery, including improved patient care and ergonomic posture, and the differences between the two styles

THE use of specialist magnification glasses (or loupes) is rapidly growing in several industries and used by professionals from jewellers and watchmakers to dentists and veterinarians. Any profession that uses vision for detailed work will benefit from the use of loupes.

Loupes are not just for veterinarians with poor eyesight, they provide an improved image for those even with perfect vision.

Many rumours have arisen about the use of loupes and whether it will harm your vision; the situation is quite the opposite and a larger image will reduce the strain on your eyes whilst improving the image quality.

There are two main types of loupes in the market at the moment: the through-the-lens (TTL) and flip-up loupes, both of which have their own advantages over the other.

TTLs are custom-made to each individual so don’t have to be adjusted before each use, are a lighter weight alternative, and provide a greater field of view due to the proximity of the loupes to the pupil.

Flip-up loupes also have a few benefits: they come with a variable inter-pupillary distance and declination angle, the ability to “flip-up” the loupes for a non-magnified view, and are a more affordable product.

Loupes mainly use three different types of measurements: magnification, working distance (WD) and interpupillary distance (IPD). Magnification is chosen on a preferential basis, but it is recommended to start out at the lower end of the magnification spectrum, as the eyes will take a short period of time to adjust to the enhanced imagery.

A small magnification will give the user a wider field of vision (this is the area in which the user will see); generally speaking, the higher the level of magnification the smaller the field of vision.

WD is the focal distance and should be the same length as the pupil to the focal point (when positioned with a suitable posture): this will ensure the image produced is in focus at all times.

IPD is only relevant to the TTL loupes (which have fixed in place loupes): it is the distance between your pupils and can be measured by an optometrist or during a loupes demonstration with a digital IPD ruler. Diplopia (double vision) can be caused from failure to align the loupes to each pupil.

A fourth measurement, the angle of declination (the angle between the loupes direction and the natural forward view) can also be changed and will vary between professions.

Let there by LED

An important, albeit not essential, addon to loupes is an LED light unit. The light unit can provide a brighter and clearer image which will improve the quality of every individual’s work.

Traditionally, LED light units have been heavy and insufficient for their intended purpose but they now come as light as 4 grams in weight, 41,000 lux (refers to amount of light emitted per second in a unit solid angle of one steradian from a uniform source) and smaller than a 5 pence coin.

Loupes have many benefits ranging from improved patient care to improved ergonomic posture. Without magnification, the eye muscles will be working hard to focus; with magnification there is a significant reduction in eye strain and fatigue. With high-quality optics, a high-definition resolution is maintained at higher magnifications, leading to improved quality of work and better outcomes for patients.

WD is an essential measurement to achieve a correct ergonomic posture: if the WD is accurately measured while in healthy posture position, the user will be much less likely to experience chronic musculoskeletal back pain, which is a common cause of early retirement in professions that require loupes.

Loupes and light units are useful for a large range of procedures, from small animal ophthalmology to diagnosing parasites. Not only will loupes improve your work, but they will also increase the speed at which you work.

Affordable quality

UKloupes is a relatively new company; however, it’s quickly gaining a strong reputation for affordability and high quality within the veterinary market. The company was founded by former Cardiff university dental student Dave Stone who saw a gap in the market for high-quality affordable loupes with a personalised service.

Since then the company has expanded into other professional markets and is no longer limited to just the dental industry, with sales of loupes and light units coming from all over the country in several different industries. UKloupes has attended the London Vet Show several times and every year it proves a great success for the company.

Risk-free trial

Loupes and light unit bundles start from just £698 (plus VAT). If you are unsure about measurements or simply whether you will adapt to loupes, the company offers a fortnight-long risk-free trial for you to test them.

There is also a nationwide network of sales agents who are happy to attend lunch-and-learn sessions or make practice visits.

All in all, loupes will benefit you in a personal (improved health from posture) and professional (improved quality of work) manner, and soon become an important aspect of any work you do. One soon becomes highly dependent on this piece of highly indispensable equipment.

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