Fundus photography, as so known as Digital Retinal Photography, is the process of taking a photo of the back of the eye, it is a way of checking the health of different internal parts of your eye. The photograph created also serves as a permanent record that can be referred back to in future eye examinations. This makes it easier for subtle changes to be spotted in the future.
As well as monitoring the current state of your eye health, Digital Retinal Photography can be used to spot the early signs of other health issues. These could be vision related problems, such as retinal detachment, glaucoma or macular degeneration. The examination can also pick up more general health concerns such as high cholesterol or blood pressure, risk factors associated with strokes, or symptoms of diabetes. The early detection of these conditions can allow a quicker diagnosis and prompt subsequent treatment, often leading to a much more positive outcome.
What does the photograph show?
- Blood vessels, which show up as dark, branch-like lines. These are responsible for blood flow in the eye.
- The Macula, showing up as a dark area in the centre of the eye. This is part of the retina and provides most of our colour vision, the ability to see fine details and the central portion of our vision.
- The Optic Nerve, which looks like a lighter area on the photograph. This nerve is responsible for sending visual information to the brain via electrical impulses, which enables us to interpret what we see.
Digital Retinal Photography is a quick and painless procedure. In order to get a photo of as much of the retina as possible, in some cases eye drops may be administered to dilate the pupil. This can cause some blurry vision for a short time afterwards, it is advisable to have some extra time for this to wear off before you drive home, or for someone else to drive you home if possible.
Ask us about added Digital Retinal Photography to your next eye exam.