Dallas Optometrist

Retinal PhotographyDallas, TX

Retinal photography can diagnose any issues with the retina. Without a healthy retina, patients will inevitably see their overall eye health and function decline. Retinal photography can detect various abnormalities present, so an optometrist may treat the issues before they become irreversible.

Retinal photography is available at Pear Eyewear in Dallas and the surrounding area. We will do everything we can to preserve and optimize your vision. Call us today at 469-393-0464 to schedule an appointment or learn more about our services.

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Understanding Retinal Photography

Retinal imaging shows a clear image of three main components of the eye: the retina, optic disk, and blood vessels. The retina is the part of the eye that focuses on light and images, while the optic disk is a spot on the retina holding the optic nerve. The optic nerve transmits information to the brain. The blood vessels carry blood to and from the eye.

Studies have shown that several significant systemic and eye diseases begin by manifesting in the retina. As such, ensuring retinal health is crucial to ensuring overall health. Retinal photography, also known as digital retinal imaging, takes a photograph of the back of the eye. Several high-resolution imaging systems are involved in this process, which helps optometrists and ophthalmologists examine the retina for abnormalities.

Why Retinal Photography

In addition to being a useful diagnostic tool, retinal imaging can establish a historical record of any changes in a patient’s eye. Routine retinal photography provides images that we can compare yearly to detect any subtle changes and monitor a patient’s health. In this way, retinal photography can be incredibly beneficial for patient education, allowing patients to be more informed on managing their eye health.

Optometrists or ophthalmologists may recommend patients to undergo retinal photography if they have diabetes, macular degeneration, glaucoma, or retinal toxicity, as these populations are particularly vulnerable to eye conditions. Diabetes can damage the retina’s blood vessels, potentially causing total blindness if not properly monitored. Macular degeneration and glaucoma both typically come with age and may lead to vision loss. Finally, retinal toxicity may be caused by certain drugs (like the arthritis drug hydroxychloroquine, also known as Plaquenil. 

How Retinal Photography Works

Retinal photography is typically performed with a fundus camera, a specialized low power microscope with a camera attached. It can capture all parts of the eye’s interior surface, including the retina, retinal vasculature, macula, optic disc, and posterior pole (also known as the fundus). These cameras generate light from a viewing lamp or project an electronic flash through a series of filters onto a round mirror. The mirror then reflects the light into a series of lenses, where it is focused.

During a retinal photography session, the optometrist or ophthalmologist dilates the patient’s pupils with specialized eye drops to widen the pupils. It may take around 20 minutes for the patient’s eyes to be ready to be examined. The retina may be photographed directly through the pupil, which can act as both an entrance and an exit for the camera’s light rays. The patient must sit at the camera with their chin in a chin rest, and their forehead will be against a bar.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Retinal Photography

Like any other technology, retinal photography has its own unique set of pros and cons. Eye doctors can catch signs of eye diseases that they may not have otherwise noticed, and the test is a virtually pain-free process. Additionally, consistent retinal imaging can give optometrists a baseline to compare patients’ eye health.

At the same time, retinal photography is not foolproof. For example, it cannot detect any diseases in areas where the retina is bleeding, and it may not detect any problems on the retina’s outer edges. Patients should also keep in mind that, while useful, digital retinal imaging is not a viable replacement for a routine dilated eye exam. We can help patients with any preexisting conditions that may affect their vision with any additional personalized eye exams they need.

Call Us Today

Retinal photography can detect and, sometimes, help prevent a wide variety of eye diseases. We at Pear Eyewear can help. Call us today at 469-393-0464 to schedule an appointment or learn more about our services.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is there a difference between a routine vision exam and a comprehensive medical eye exam?

Yes. Most eye exams involve dilating the eyes so the doctor can better examine the eye. However, it can sometimes still be difficult for doctors to see everything they need to see, especially if the pupils are too small. As part of a comprehensive medical eye exam, retinal photography can provide a more subtle and more expanded view of the retina.

Do I still need to get my eyes dilated if I undergo retinal photography?

Yes. Physical examinations of the eye are still invaluable. Digital retinal imaging provides different kinds of information. It is ideal to use a combination of both. We can determine what the best course of action is for you.

Can I drive myself home after retinal imaging?

It depends. If you have had your eyes dilated, your vision will remain blurry for around four hours and your eyes will be sensitive to sunlight. You will need to wear sunglasses, and someone will need to drive you home. If the doctor used fluorescein dye, you should refrain from wearing soft contact lenses for at least four hours, lest they get stained by the dye.

How long will it take to get my retinal imaging results?

Images are typically available immediately. We will discuss the results with you before you leave. If you have any questions or concerns, do not hesitate to ask. We are here to help.

Is retinal photography safe?

Yes. There is no scientific evidence to suggest that retinal photography is damaging to the eyes. It is an entirely non-invasive procedure that does not have any known links to eye conditions like age-related macular degeneration. On the contrary, retinal photography may detect such problems before they have the chance to worsen.