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Digital retinal images are an important part of an eye exam that can help many patients find out if they have eye disease early on. A digital retinal image, also known as an optomap image, is a quick and painless exam that takes a panoramic digital photo of the retina in order to check for eye health and eye disease. The retina is the only place in the body that blood vessels can be seen directly, which makes it ideal for spotting certain diseases like diabetes, stroke and heart disease, which can affect the blood vessels. The optomap process is simply a short test where the patient looks through a type of portal upon which a flash of light hits the eye to photograph the image. Most patients will not need their eyes dilated for this procedure. The entire photo capture takes under a second and provides immediate images for the doctor to look over.
Many signs of disease can remain undetected, making the optomap image an ideal way to detect diseases early enough so that treatment can be administered where possible. Early detection of eye disease can prevent vision loss and blindness, and help treat things like cancer or stroke early on. Because the optomap can capture over 80% of the retina in just one shot, it is recommended that most patients have it done. Regular exams only show 15% of the retina in comparison. Optomap is safe for everyone, adults and children included. An optomap is normally done during the time of the eye exam, which is generally done annually. Also, an optomap can be saved for future reference, making it easier for your doctor to keep a record of your eye care. The optomap is painless and takes only a few minutes to setup and take the photo, so it is also quick and has patients in and out of office.
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