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Optomap Ultra-Widefield Retinal Imaging


Your retina (located in the back of your eye) is the only place in the body where blood vessels can be seen directly. This means that in addition to eye conditions, signs of other diseases (for example, stroke, heart disease, hypertension, and diabetes) can also be seen in the retina. Early signs of these conditions can show on your retina long before you notice any changes to your vision or feel pain. While eye exams generally include a look at the front of the eye to evaluate health and prescription changes, a thorough screening of the retina is critical to verify that your eye is healthy.

What is an Optomap Image?

Getting an optomap image is fast, painless, and comfortable. Nothing touches your eye at any time. It is suitable for the whole family. To have the exam, you simply look into the device one eye at a time (like looking through a keyhole) and you will see a flash of light to let you know the image of your retina has been taken.  The image capture takes less than a half-second and they are available immediately for you to see your own retina. You see exactly what your eye care practitioner sees - even in a 3D animation.

Early signs of disease can be present in the periphery of your retina and remain undetected for a long time when using traditional methods. The optomap ultra-widefield retinal image is a unique technology that captures more than 80% of your retina in a single image while traditional imaging methods typically only show 15% of your retina at one time.

Benefits of an Optomap Image

The benefits of having an optomap ultra-widefield retinal image taken are:
- Optomap facilitates early protection from vision impairment or blindness
- Early detection of life-threatening diseases like cancer, stroke, and cardiovascular disease

The unique optomap ultra-widefield view helps your eye care practitioner detect early signs of retinal disease more effectively and efficiently than with traditional eye exams.

Early detection means successful treatments can be administered and reduces the risk to your sight and health.

Why is a retinal exam so important?

Some of the first signs of diseases such as stroke, diabetes and even some cancers can be seen in your retina, often before you have other symptoms.  An optomap makes it easier to see them.

Is an optomap safe for children?

Yes.  In fact, many vision problems begin in early childhood, so it's important for children to receive quality routine eye care.


What is an optomap?

The optomap is a digital image of the retina produced by Optos scanning laser technology.  It is the only technology that can capture 82% view of your retina at one time.

Does it hurt?

No.  It is completely comfortable and the scan takes less than a second.

How will optomap benefit me?

The ultra-widefield optomap may help your eye doctor detect problems more quickly and easily.  Unlike traditional retinal exams, the optomap image can be saved for future comparisons.

How often should I have an optomap?

This is a decision that should be made by your doctor.  However, it is generally recommended that you have an optomap each time you have an eye exam.

Are there side effects?

optomap images are created by non-invasive, low-intensity scanning lasers.  No adverse health effects have been reported in over 150 million sessions.

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Optical Coherence Tomography

Optical Coherence Tomography (OCT) is a non-invasive imaging test. OCT uses light waves to take cross-section pictures of your retina.  With OCT your doctor can see each of the retina’s distinctive layers. This allows your doctor to map and measure their thickness. These measurements help with diagnosis. They also provide treatment guidance for glaucoma and diseases of the retina. These retinal diseases include age-related macular degeneration (AMD) and diabetic eye disease.


What happens during OCT?

To prepare you for an OCT exam, your doctor may or may not put dilating eye drops in your eyes. These drops widen your pupil and make it easier to examine the retina.  You will sit in front of the OCT machine and rest your head on a support to keep it motionless. The equipment will then scan your eye without touching it. Scanning takes about 5 – 10 minutes. If your eyes were dilated, they may be sensitive to light for several hours after the exam.

What conditions can OCT help to diagnose?

OCT is useful in diagnosing many eye conditions, including:

  • macular hole

  • macular pucker

  • macular edema

  • age-related macular degeneration

  • glaucoma

  • central serous retinopathy

  • diabetic retinopathy

  • vitreous traction


OCT is often used to evaluate disorders of the optic nerve as well. The OCT exam helps your ophthalmologist see changes to the fibers of the optic nerve. For example, it can detect changes caused by glaucoma.
OCT relies on light waves. It cannot be used with conditions that interfere with light passing through the eye. These conditions include dense cataracts or significant bleeding in the vitreous.

Visual Field Testing

Your visual field is how wide of an area your eye can see when you focus on a central point. Visual field testing is one way your doctor measures how much vision you have in either eye, and how much vision loss may have occurred over time.  A visual field test can determine if you have blind spots (called scotoma) in your vision and where they are. A scotoma’s size and shape can show how eye disease or a brain disorder is affecting your vision.

For example, if you have glaucoma, this test helps to show any possible side (peripheral) vision loss from this disease.
Doctors also use visual field tests to assess how vision may be limited by problems such as ptosis & droopy eyelids.

What Are the Types of Visual Field Testing?

A common way for your doctor to screen for any problems in your visual field is with a confrontation visual field test. You will be asked to look directly at an object in front of you, (such as the doctor’s nose) while one of your eyes is covered. Your doctor may hold up different numbers of fingers in areas of your peripheral (side) vision field and ask how many you see as you look at the target in front of you.
To check for a suspected eye problem or monitor the progress of an eye disease, your doctor will rely on more specific tests to measure how you see objects in your field of vision. The automated perimetry test is used for this purpose. It helps create a more detailed map of where you can and can’t see.
To do this test, you will look into the center of a bowl-shaped instrument. The eye not being tested will be covered with a patch. The testing eye will have your lens prescription placed in front of it to make sure you are seeing as well as possible.

You will be asked to keep looking at a center target throughout the test. Small, dim lights will begin to appear in different places throughout the bowl, and you will press a button whenever you see a light. The machine tracks which lights you did not see.
You may blink normally during the test. You may also pause the test if you feel you need to take a break for a moment.
Because you are looking straight ahead during the test, your doctor can tell which lights you see outside of your central area of vision. Since glaucoma affects peripheral vision, this test helps show if there is vision loss outside of your central visual field.
Lights will be shown in some areas where the machine knows you can’t see them. This is done deliberately to find what is called the “visual threshold,” the area where you cannot see lights half of the time. You may be concerned because you can’t see every light. Rest assured that this is how the test is supposed to work.

People who have age-related macular degeneration (AMD) are familiar with one very basic type of visual field test: the Amsler grid. It is a pattern of straight lines that makes a grid of many equal squares. You look at a dot in the middle of the grid and describe any areas that may appear wavy, blurry or blank.
The Amsler grid is commonly used at home by people with AMD. This test only measures the middle of the visual field, but is a simple yet helpful tool for monitoring vision changes.

Who Needs Visual Field Testing?

Visual field testing is an important part of regular eye care for people who are at risk for vision loss from disease and other problems. People with the following conditions should be monitored regularly by their doctor, who will determine how often visual field testing is needed:

  • Glaucoma

  • Multiple sclerosis

  • Hyperthyroidism

  • Pituitary gland disorders

  • Central nervous system problems (such as a tumor that may be pressing on visual parts of the brain)

  • Stroke


People with diabetes and high blood pressure have a greater risk of developing blocked blood vessels in the optic nerve and retina. They may need visual field testing to monitor any effects of these conditions on their vision.
If your visual field is limited, your ability to drive may be in jeopardy. If you are concerned about vision loss or your ability to continue driving, talk with your doctor.

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