Digital Retinal Scan
We now offer digital retinal photography as a part of our eye exam service. Photographing the inside of your eyes helps us to see in incredible detail the health of your retina. By keeping your photos on record we can monitor any changes to your eyes when you come to see us next time.
This image, captured with digital retinal photography, shows the details of the retina and back of the eye. We can see the blood vessels (the branch-like dark lines), the macula (the dark area in the center) and the optic nerve (the light area).
Our optician will use computer software to carefully look at each photo in order to assess the health of the eye.
Age Related Macular Degeneration
Macular Degeneration causes the gradual breakdown of the macular (the central posrtion of the eye). Digital retinal photography can not only detect the brakdown but also monitor it as your treament progresses. Unfortunately the risk of developing macular degeneration increases with age, and is the most common cause of vision loss in people over fifty.
Diabetic retinopathy is a major cause of visual impairment among adults. Here in the UK, more than two million people have been identified as having diabetes. Digital retinal photography enable early detection, whihc greatly improves the success rate of treatment.
Glaucoma damages the optic nerve at the point where it leaves the eye. Recent statistics suggest that some form of glaucomo affects around two in every 100 people over the age of 40. The danger with chronic glaucoma is that there is no pain and your eyesight will seem to be unchanged, but your vision is being damaged. As part of your eye exam digital retinal photography will confirm if you are at risk.
A macula hole is a small hole in the part of the retina which is responsible for our sharp, detailed central vision. This is the vision when you are looking directly at something like a computer scrren or book. There are many causes of macula holes. If the vitreous pulls away from the back of the eye but does not "let go" it can eventually tear the retina, leaving a hole. Extreme exposure to light, for example staring at the sun during an eclipse, can also cause a hole to develop.
As we get older the vitreous jelly that takes up the space in our eyeball can change. Sometimes it becomes less firm and can move away from the back of the eye towards the centre. In some cases the vitreous jelly sticks to the retina as is moves causing pulling on the retina's surface. The danger with vitreous detachment is that there is no pain and your sight will seem unchanged but the back of the eye may be damaged.
How does retinal photography work?
Taking a retinal photograph is non invasive, painless and takes just a few minutes. Our optician will ask you to look into the lens of the retinal camera and then take a photo of each eye. He will then look at the images and save them for comparison when you see him next time.