Digital retinal imaging uses high-resolution imaging systems to take pictures of the inside of your eye. This helps VSP doctors assess the health of your retina and helps them to detect and manage such eye and health conditions as glaucoma, diabetes, and macular degeneration. Finding retinal disorders as early as possible is critical to potentially preventing serious disease progression and even vision loss.
A Better View = Early Detection
A comprehensive eye exam, including a thorough retinal exam, can detect early signs of numerous diseases that affect not only your eyes and your sight, but also your overall health. Digital retinal imaging helps your doctor find possible signs of a number of diseases that first appear in the retina. In these instances, patients typically don’t experience any pain or other symptoms.
Here are just some of the diseases retinal imaging can help a VSP doctor notice or see more closely:
Age-related Macular Degeneration
Macular degeneration is usually signified by leaking of fluid or bleeding in the back of the eye. This causes central vision loss.
A dark spot at the back of the eye may signal a melanoma, which can grow unnoticed within the retina. If caught early, melanomas can be treated before they cause serious damage and travel to other areas of the body through the bloodstream.
Diabetes can cause changes in the blood vessels of the retina, like swelling and leakage or the creation of new blood vessels. Blindness can result without early detection.
Pressure against the optic nerve and compression of the eye’s blood vessels may indicate glaucoma. This disease causes permanent and irreversible vision loss.
Hypertension (High Blood Pressure)
Signs of high blood pressure often appear first in the eye. Indicators can include narrowing of the blood vessels, spots on the retina, or bleeding in the back of the eye.
Retinas can lift or pull away from the wall of the eye. If not properly treated, this can cause permanent vision loss.
A Piece of History
In addition to helping detect diseases early, retinal images provide a permanent and historical record of changes in your eye. Images can be compared side-by-side, year after year, to discover even subtle changes and help monitor your health.
Retinal images also make it easier for your doctor to educate you about your health and wellness. The two of you can review your images together, and your doctor can point out the various structures of the retina and explain treatment options for any conditions revealed by the pictures. The more you know about eye diseases, the more likely you will understand and follow your doctor’s recommendations for treatment and prevention.
There are many retinal imaging options available to you. Talk to your VSP doctor about which one is right for you.
Optomap® Retinal Exam
The optomap Retinal Exam is used by your VSP doctor to get an ultra-widefield view of the retina (the back of your eye).