At Hammond Opticians we pride ourselves on bringing the most advanced technology to our patients, which is why we recommend the optomap ultra-wide digital retinal scan as part of a comprehensive eye examination.
Eye examinations generally include a look at the front of the eye as well as any changes to your glasses or contact lens prescription. However, a thorough screening of the retina is essential to check that your eye is healthy.
How does your optometrist normally examine the retina?
Examining the retina is challenging. Your optometrist looks through the pupil to examine a layer of tissue that covers the back and inside walls of your eye. Traditional methods will only show a small part of the retina at one time and are carried out manually without any digital record being kept.
Why is Optomap better than other eye tests?
The optomap ultra-wide digital retinal scan captures up to 80% of your retina in one panoramic image. Optomap provides a far wider scope of your retina in much greater detail than other ‘retinal camera’ equipment commonly used by other high street opticians. This unique view enhances your optometrist’s ability to detect even the earliest signs of disease that may be present on your retina and allows them more time to review the health and to educate you about your eye health. In contrast to the other cameras, Optomap produces one wide image, whereas on other equipment it is down to the optometrist to piece together different images and ensure they have made a proper examination.
Why should my family and I have a regular comprehensive eye examination?
Having a regular eye examination is crucial in protecting you and your family’s eyesight. These examinations allow your optometrist to detect changes in the front of your eyes so that alterations can be made to your glasses or contact lens prescription as well as providing a thorough screening of the retina (back of the eye). As many vision problems can begin at an early age, it is equally important for children to receive proper eye care from about 1-2 years of age.
A brief guide to Optomap
How often should I have an optomap retinal scan?
Your optometrist will advise you based on your individual circumstances, but it is recommended that you have an Optomap scan every time you have an eye examination. This will ensure there will be a digital record of your retinal health on file which can be compared to check for changes over time.
Will I need to have drops and does it hurt?
No. An optomap scan takes only seconds to perform, is not painful and typically does not require dilation (eye drops).
Remember, your eyes are working from the moment you wake up to the moment you go to sleep. They take in an enormous amount of information about the world around you – shapes, colours, movement and more – and allow the brain to know what is going on all around you.
Detecting health issues…
Our scans can identify the signs
Optomap retinal scans can enable us to detect the signs of the following:
- Diabetic Retinopathy – Diabetes affects the eyes and kidneys and is the leading cause of blindness in the UK working age population. Retinopathy occurs when diabetes damages the tiny blood vessels in the retina.
- Age-related Macular Degeneration – The centre of the retina (the macula) can become diseased as we grow older. This results in alterations to our fine central vision making daily activities such as driving and reading very difficult.
- Glaucoma – This condition is where the pressure inside the eye becomes higher than normal causing damage to the optic nerve. Worryingly, glaucoma almost always develops without symptoms as there is no pain or reduction in vision noticeable.
- Hypertension – High blood pressure can result in changes to the blood vessels in the eye resulting in loss of vision as well as increasing the risk of stroke or heart disease.
About the retina
Frequently Asked Questions
What is your retina?
The retina is the delicate lining at the back of the eye and is like the film in a camera. It receives light through the lens in your eye and produces a picture that is then sent to the brain, enabling you to see.
Why is the retina important?
It is important to make sure that your retina is healthy – an unhealthy retina cannot send clear signals to the brain and this can result in impaired vision or blindness. If detected early, most retinal conditions can be treated successfully. Even if you see clearly, as the retina has no nerve endings and you may have a problem that doesn’t give pain.
What can happen to the retina?
Your retina is the only place in the body where blood vessels can be seen directly. This means in addition to eye conditions, signs of other disease (e.g. stroke, heart disease, hypertension and diabetes) can also be seen in the retina. Early detection is essential so that successful treatments can be administered.