Join Me as I Learn to Use the iCam: Lesson 6. Image Artifacts

Our newest program coordinator shares her “aha” moments as she learns. 

Several avoidable factors can add troubling artifacts to the images.  White smudges or round dots might appear if the lens is unclean, or strange lines can appear on the image from the patient’s eyelashes.  Let’s review the most common artifacts that obscure image quality and how to fix these irregularities.

The red arrows in the image above are pointing to two of several eyelash artifacts visible in this retinal image.  Each of the dark, vertical shadows you see in the image above are eyelash artifacts. 

The red arrows in the image above are pointing to two of several eyelash artifacts visible in this retinal image.  Each of the dark, vertical shadows you see in the image above are eyelash artifacts. 

The picture above shows an image with eyelash artifacts, a result of a patient’s eyelashes obscuring the camera’s frame.  This can happen if the patient is not holding the eyes wide, or if the patient blinks while the picture is being taken.  Encourage the patient to open his or her eyes as widely as possible until the eyelashes are not seen on the screen, and then capture the photo.  Sometimes it is necessary to hold the upper eyelid up if the patient is having a very difficult time keeping the eye wide open.

There is a smudge visible in each image of this full set.  I have circled the smudge in all the images for the right eye, and have left the images for the left eye untouched so that you can clearly see the smudge present in each image of the set.

There is a smudge visible in each image of this full set.  I have circled the smudge in all the images for the right eye, and have left the images for the left eye untouched so that you can clearly see the smudge present in each image of the set.

The picture above shows a set of images where a smudge is visible in each image.  Smudges on the lens will be repeated in every image captured until the lens is clean.  Often times the smudge is a result of the camera lens bumping into the patient’s nose.  This will happen if the camera is not pulled away from the face while switching between eyes.  Always pull the camera toward you before moving to the patient’s other eye.  If a smudge does appear on the lens, it is important to follow proper lens cleaning technique.  I will go over lens cleaning technique below.

The red arrows in the image above point to a few of the many water droplet marks on the lens.

The red arrows in the image above point to a few of the many water droplet marks on the lens.

The image above shows an image with water droplet artifacts.  These appear as small, circular artifacts on the photos as a result of the patient speaking or sneezing onto the lens.  Encourage patients to sit back away from the lens and not talk facing it.  If you notice these artifacts on your image, please follow the proper lens cleaning technique described below.

To clean the lens, use a microfiber lens cloth with a non-alcohol based lens solution. Wrap the cloth around 1-2 fingers and lightly spray the cloth. Starting from the center of the lens, gently wipe outward in a circular motion toward the outer edge. Then, start from the center and wipe outward radially like "cutting a pie." Move your fingers to a dry part of the cloth and repeat the circular and radial wiping motions. Examine the lens using a LED flashlight to see if any marks remain and repeat if necessary.  If you need a microfiber cloth, or perhaps some non-alcohol based lens cleaner, please contact us at contact@eyepacs.org and we will send you some supplies to clean your lens.