Your retina is the only place in the body in which blood vessels can be seen directly, and an Optomap ultra-widefield retinal image is a unique technology that is capable of capturing over 80% of your retina in one single image.
With such a detailed view of your eye, we can identify signs of eye diseases earlier than ever – allowing us to treat them faster and alleviate the risk of developing life-changing alterations to your vision.
The entire scan takes less than half a second and your optometrist will be able to instantly pinpoint any issues there and then.
Getting Optomap images completed is a fast, painless, and comfortable procedure.
Nothing touches your eye at any time, and anyone can have it done. During your exam, you will look into the Optomap device one eye at a time. Think of it like looking through a keyhole. While looking into the device, you will see a bright flash of light which will let you know that the image of your retina has successfully been taken.
Depending on the health of your eyes, your optician may need to use dilation drops to dilate your pupils. The whole process of taking the retinal image takes less than half a second and the images are available to view immediately after the process has been completed; allowing you to see your retina.
The Benefits of Optomap Retinal Imaging – is Optomap Worth it?
Compared to traditional digital retinal photography, where only 45⁰ of the retina is captured, Optomap uses ultra-widefield retinal imaging to capture up to 200⁰ degrees of the retina.
The Optomap images are made up of three different scans which all use special wavelengths of light to highlight any abnormalities in the different layers of your retina.
This isn’t just a wide photograph, the Optomap offers unparalleled views of the retina which provides us with the following:
An extremely accurate and anatomically correct image of the retina
Simultaneous views of the central pole, mid-periphery, and the periphery
A wider range of retinal imaging modalities compared to traditional imaging methods
A baseline snapshot of the retina for future comparison to better monitor change and progression of disease.
Comprehensive Laser Scanning Technology
Unlike standard white light which is used in conventional retinal photography, Optomap scan technology incorporates low-powered laser wavelengths which simultaneously scan the retina:
The 532nm green laser scans from the sensory retina to the pigment epithelial layers
The 633nm red laser scans from the RPE to the choroid
The 488nm blue laser is used in fluorescein angiography procedures
The 802nm infrared laser is used in indocyanine green angiography procedures
This allows your optician to review the retinal substructures in their individual laser separations for a significantly more accurate analysis.
What Can Optomap Detect?
Your Optometrist can use your Optomap scans to detect both ocular and systemic diseases within the eye. The device allows your optician to evaluate your retina for several problems, including macular degeneration, retinal holes, retinal detachments, hypertension and diabetic retinopathy, usually without having to dilate your pupils.
What’s the Difference Between OCT and Optomap Imaging?
There are several differences to both digital retinal imaging and OCT – for example, a retinal image can capture an image of a large portion of the eyeball; a more effective and time-efficient alternative to traditional methods, whereas an OCT acts as an extremely detailed ultrasound of your eye.
Where conventional imaging only allows optometrists to analyse small samples of the retina at a time, Optomap retinal imaging provides a significantly more detailed view of the retina.
You could think of this as looking at a leaf with your eyes, and then looking at it with a magnifying glass – certain details become more apparent which were simply invisible before. This kind of retinal imaging makes it significantly easier for your optometrist to notice any possible issues with your retina.
OCT scans are quite different to Optomap images, as they are the ideal solution for detecting a different range of symptoms. An OCT scan allows your optometrist to observe the different layers of the retina, whilst also enabling them to discern its thickness – they record the structure of the eye, a feat a traditional visual scan simply cannot do.
Book Your Private Optomap Eye Examination Today
With the use of Optomap and OCT imagery, we can obtain a more detailed image of your eyes compared to traditional testing methods. This allows us to detect even the slightest of changes to your vision and your eye health up to five years before you notice any kind of symptoms, and provide quality treatments before they become a problem.
Sophie Taylor-West is the founder and Director of Taylor-West & Co Optometrists. She is one of our Hove-based registered Optometrists. Sophie specialises in contact lens fittings for both healthy and also “awkward” or more complex prescriptions, helping people who have difficulties seeing anything at all by transforming their sight. She also specialises in myopia management for children and teenagers with short-sightedness. Click here to read more...