Retinal exams are more involved than a general eye exam. Such appointments typically take about two hours.
The retina is a thin layer or tissue at the back of the eye. You can kind of think of it as being the screen that the camera of the eye displays imagery upon.
In order to get a good look at the retina, the pupils must be dilated. After getting dilating drops placed in your eyes, it can take up to a half hour for the pupils to fully dilate.
The exam can begin once the pupils are dilated. It involves the use of a bright light shone through the dilated pupil to illuminate the retina.
While this can be uncomfortable for patients, it will not harm the eye. If you schedule a Retinal Evaluation at Campus Eye Group, we will do our best to minimize your discomfort.
It will take several hours for your eyes to return to normal. You will not be able to drive and you will need to protect your eyes from excess light. You should plan your day accordingly.
Some retinal exams involve a test called the fluorescein angiogram. This is a type of contrast dye imaging. Injecting dye into the bloodstream before imaging the retina with a series of photographs will give detailed information about the state of the blood vessels in the eye. This can turn up abnormalities or damage to the vessels.
Conditions Identified by the Exam
A retinal exam can help detect a variety of ailments. Here are some of the things that a retinal exam may turn up. The goal is early diagnosis to improve prognosis.
Age-related Macular Degeneration (AMD)
This is a common cause of central vision loss, especially for people past age 50. Dry AMD accounts for about 90 percent of cases and is typically less serious than wet AMD. Having dry AMD can precede development of wet AMD, so patients are monitored closely.
Diabetes negatively impacts all blood vessels. This includes those in the retina. Early detection is your best protection against this condition leading to blindness.
This condition causes increased pressure within the eye. This pressure can damage the eye and lead to permanent vision loss.
The retina can pull away from the back wall. This is a serious condition that is treatable with surgery. Early detection is the best way to protect your vision.
If you are concerned about your eye health, Campus Eye Group can perform a state-of-the-art Retinal Evaluation. Contact us today for an appointment.