Digital Retinal Imaging combines the technology of retinal photography and computerized digital imaging to produce remarkably clear images of the back of your eye as shown in this image.
The retinal exam is pain-free and takes a minimal amount of time to perform. The Retinal Exam as part of a comprehensive eye exam allows ones eye care professional to identify abnormalities that could indicate the onset of a number of diseases that can be detected first in the retina. In these cases, patients typically do not experience any discomfort or outward symptoms.
It is recommended that this procedure be done as a baseline for ALL patients, especially those at risk of developing eye disease from the effects of diabetes, patients with high blood pressure, those with the risk of age related macular degeneration, or a family history of glaucoma. The images allow Dr. Burrell to further evaluate the retina for eye conditions such as glaucoma, macular degeneration, and retinal holes/tears. In addition, these retinal images can be sent to your Physician(s) to have on file as part of your health record to compare for such systemic diseases that affect your eyes: diabetes, high blood pressure, cholesterol, multiple sclerosis, orbital tumors for example, or to monitor eye side effects of medications that treat cholesterol or arthritis. Shown here is picture of the retinal camera.
The following is a brief description of a few of the diseases that retinal examinations are instrumental in detecting:
- Age Related Macular Degeneration – This is caused by changes in the retina due to the body’s aging process and age related degeneration blurs an individuals sharp central vision.
- Cancer – Melanomas can grow undetected within the retina. If discovered early, these masses can be treated before they cause serious damage to the eye and spread to other parts of the body through the bloodstream.
- Diabetic Retinopathy – A leading cause of Blindness, diabetic retinopathy occurs when diabetes disease damages the tiny blood vessels inside the retina.
- Glaucoma – A build up of excess fluids within the eye elevates the intraocular pressure, which pushes against the optic nerve and can cause permanent vision loss.
- Hypertension (High Blood Pressure) – One of the first indicators of high blood pressure and compromised blood vessels will appear in the retina. This may signify increased pressure in the blood vessels throughout your body.