Did you know that retinal problems can surprisingly remain undetected for some time using conventional optometric equipment and methods? These problems include macular degeneration, glaucoma, retinal holes, retinal detachments, and diabetic retinopathy (all of which can lead to partial or complete loss of vision). New equipment is now available which produces high-resolution digital retinal photographs that can be used to screen for retinal abnormalities and to establish a baseline that can serve to compare retinal changes over time. OPTOM~EYES owns a state-of-the-art digital retinal camera and is pleased to offer this service to each of our patients.
Our conventional comprehensive exam includes examination of the retina using a slit lamp and indirect biomicroscope, long considered the industry standard for eye care. However, a major limitation to this type of exam is documentation -- a word picture is often times inadequate. Examples of the more detailed information captured by screening photographs are shown below:
Generally, insurance does not cover screening procedures, including retinal photography. Thus, your initial screening would likely be an out-of-pocket expense. If the screening uncovers early signs of systemic diseases, such as diabetes, high blood pressure, or collagen vascular disease, additional diagnostic imaging is available which is normally covered by insurance. If you like, we can e-mail your retinal image to you or your primary care physician.
While it's true that most patients have no previously undetected retinal issues, one should be aware of the serious threat posed by some retinal problems as well as the benefit of early detection if these problems do exist. Please consider allowing my staff to perform this test for you and your family. One of my all-time favorite sayings comes to mind - you don't know what you don't know, but you can find out.