Retinal imaging is a digital picture of your retina. Many optometrists don't offer this treatment routinely, but you can request it. Note that in some cases, you may need to switch optometrists if you want retinal imaging because not all optometrists have the right equipment. Wondering if this procedure is right for your eyes? Here are five signs you should consider it.
1. You Want to Ensure Your Optometrist Has a Good View of Your Eye
Traditionally, optometrists use ophthalmoscopes to look at your eye, and this can work. But with retinal imaging, the optometrists gets a wider view of your eye. They can see the retina, the optic disc, and the blood vessels.
The retina is where light hits your eye, the optic disc houses the optic nerve which transmits messages to your brain, and the blood vessels bring in oxygen to complement the oxygen your eyes get from the air. If you want to ensure that your optometrist gets the best possible view of these parts of your eye, you may want to look for someone who offers this type of imaging.
2. You Want a Physical Image of Your Eye
With an ophthalmoscope, the optometrist sees your eye, but they can only tell you what they see. If you want to actually see a physical image of the inside of your eye, you need to opt for retinal imaging.
3. Your Optometrist Isn't Sure What Is Happening With Your Eye
Are you having vision difficulties, but your optometrist can't tell what's wrong? Then, you may also want to consider this type of imaging. It can be a lot more effective diagnostic tool than traditional options.
4. You Have a Family History of Eye Issues
A lot of eye issues have a genetic component. For instance, your risk of cataracts increases if you have a family history of cataracts. With all eye issues, your chance of full recovery increases if you detect the issue as early as possible.
If you know that you're at a heightened risk due to your family history, you may want to look into retinal imaging. It can help with the early detection of macular degeneration, cancer, diabetic retinopathy, glaucoma, hypertension, and retinal detachment as well as potentially more issues.
5. You Want a Visual Record of Your Eye's Changes
When you have actual physical images of your eyes, you can save those records (or have your optometrist keep them). Then, you can compare images from different time periods, and you can see how your eye is changing over time.