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Retinal Imaging: What it is, and Why it’s Important.

Updated: Mar 30, 2023

The optometrists at Rivertown Eye Care are dedicated to providing thorough, comprehensive eye exams. We offer the latest technologies in eye health and screening equipment to ensure the best vision for everyone who walks through our doors.

One thing we highly recommend during your annual exam is retinal photography. It allows our optometrists to see highly detailed images of your eyes, revealing issues that may go otherwise undetected.

Optos retinal imaging machine by Nikon

How retinal imaging works and why it's important

Retinal imagining is fast, painless, and comfortable. Nothing touches your eye at any time. 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.

The exam consists of looking into the device one eye at a time (like looking through a keyhole), and you will see a green light flash over your eye. The entire process only takes a few seconds and is suitable for patients of all ages.

Teen girl looking into Optos Retinal Scanning Maching

Healthy retinas

A healthy retina is essential for maintaining clear vision and overall eye function. Retinal photography, also known as fundus photography, is an advanced diagnostic tool that can be used to effectively detect and diagnose a wide range of abnormalities within the retina, the light-sensitive tissue that lines the back of the eye. These photographs can be used to evaluate the health of the optic nerve, vitreous, macula, retina, and surrounding blood vessels to diagnose conditions such as:

  • Macular Degeneration

  • Diabetic Eye Disease

  • Hypertensive Retinopathy

  • Macular Holes

  • Glaucoma

What is retinal photography?

Digital retinal imaging is also known as a retinal photograph. It is a non-invasive diagnostic tool that produces digital high-resolution, colored images of your retina, optic nerve, and blood vessels in the back of your eye.

Images of a healthy and unhealthy retina

Retinal imaging is a quick and painless test that can help catch the early stages of eye disease. This technology captures high-resolution images of your eye for your physician to examine. It allows our medical team to see extremely detailed images of your eye and optic nerve structures.

During your eye exam, your doctor can use images to provide a more detailed explanation of different treatments, ensuring a higher level of accuracy. In addition, retinal images can be compared side-by-side to monitor your eye health and detect subtle changes over time.

Who should get retinal imaging?

Retinal imaging is safe for patients of all ages. Including retinal imaging into an eye exam may be necessary if you have certain conditions. It can be beneficial if you are at high risk for retinal illnesses or if you have diabetes, retinal toxicity, macular degeneration, or glaucoma. It should not be considered a substitute for a comprehensive eye exam. Talk to your optician if this is right for you.


Illustration of ultra-wide field retinal image

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 traditional eye exams.


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

Optos retinal imaging machine

How do I schedule retinal imaging?

Retinal imaging is fast and painless. What's more, the benefits outweigh the costs. Think of it as your first line of defense against numerous threats to your health, allowing your eye care professional to detect a range of potential conditions early on. You can add it to your annual exam when you schedule it or add it to your exam on the day of your service.

Want to know more? Call Rivertown and schedule your exam today! We will be happy to provide answers to any questions you may have.


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