Retinal imaging uses state-of-the-art techniques and technology to obtain images of the light-sensitive retina at the back of your eye. The retina contains specialized cells that respond to light, gathering information about the objects you see and sending that information to your brain, which interprets the information and “creates” images.
When the retina is damaged or when eye diseases or conditions impair the retina’s ability to gather light, your vision can be compromised, sometimes permanently. In some eye diseases, the retina detaches or pulls away from the back of the eye, resulting in blindness. Retinal imaging looks for issues that indicate the presence or likelihood of these issues and diseases, so appropriate treatment can be provided. Images are used to evaluate the retina, the optic disc (which includes the optic nerve head), and the blood vessels around the retina.
Retinal imaging is recommended for people who have a personal or family history of eye diseases like glaucoma, macular degeneration, or other eye diseases involving the retina or optic nerve. It’s also recommended for people with diabetes or high blood pressure, as well as those taking medications associated with an increased risk for retinal damage. Retinal imaging can also be a valuable tool for identifying diseases that occur more commonly with older age.
Our doctors use the state-of-the-art CR-DGi retinal imaging system for detailed, accurate images that can be immediately evaluated. First, the doctor dilates your eyes using special drops that gently and painlessly widen your pupils. Dilating drops make it easier to see the back of your eye. Next, you’ll place your chin on a special rest and look straight ahead while a low-intensity laser scans the back of your eye. The laser takes highly detailed images of your retina so your doctor can evaluate the retina, optic nerve head, and blood vessels, looking for signs of disease.
Retinal imaging takes about five minutes, and it’s completely noninvasive and painless. A test called optical coherence tomography or OCT can also be used to take cross-sectional images of your retina so the doctor can assess the thickness of your retina and look for aberrations in different portions of the retina that could be indicative of a disease. Once the assessments are complete, your vision may be blurry, and you’ll have increased sensitivity to light for a few hours while the dilating drops wear off.
At G. Dennis Leaks, OD, LTD., we accept most major insurance plans. Here is a short-list of just some of the most popular plans we accept. Please contact our office if you do not see your insurance provider listed.