The Optomap Retinal Exam provides a panoramic view of the back of a person's eye (the retina). This panoramic view displays over 80% of the retina at one time.
How Does the Optomap Work?
Your technician will position you so you are looking at the ball in the middle of the circle and takes your picture. The Optomap captures its image in only 1/4 of a second. The photographer takes two photos and evaluates the images. If the images look good she repeats the procedure on your other eye.
The Optomap Retinal Exam was Featured on the TV Show The Doctors.
Why is This Better Than Dilation?
The Optomap is not necessarily better than dilation. The Optomap Retinal Exam is a great tool to use in addition to dilation or when a patient can't, or doesn't want to be dilated.
In some cases, the view provided by the Optomap is superior to that of pupil dilation. For example, a patient that is very light sensitive will often refuse to have their pupils dilated because of the pain they experience. The dilated view of a very photosensitive patient is often poor because it is difficult for the patient to keep their eyes open or to look in the appropriate direction. The Optomap captures an image with a brief flash that even light sensitive patients find acceptable. The panoramic view allows the eye doctor to view the retina without discomfort to the patient allowing for a more comfortable retinal exam.
The image to the right compares the doctor's view of your eye through an undilated pupil with an instrument called a direct ophthalmoscope (inner ring). The second ring is the view as seen through dilated pupils with an instrument that is worn on the head called a binocular indirect ophthalmoscope (BIO). The BIO will allow the doctor to see almost 100% of the retina if the patient looks in multiple directions while the doctor readjusts his or her light. The third ring is the view afforded by a good retinal camera.
For Whom is the Optomap Recommended?
The short answer is almost everyone is a good candidate. We find, however, that some of the best candidates are those patients that can't or don't want to be dilated, children, anyone with a history of eye problems such as diabetic retinopathy, glaucoma and people that are light sensitive, just to name a few.