Yesterday, the Wall St Journal, in it’s Personal Journal section, reported something eye doctors have known for a long time–changes in the eye may signal diseases elsewhere in the body. These diseases include diabetes, hypertension, cardiovascular disease, rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, multiple sclerosis, cancer and others.
The article specifically discussed the benefits of this technology as a method of screening for many medical conditions. I’m happy to say that I have utilized Optomap technology in my optometry practice for over 10 years!
The Optomap instantaneously captures more than 80% of your retina in one panoramic image. More traditional methods show smaller sections of the retina at one time. Plus, Optomap technology allows us to store a digital record of your retina for future comparisons. Optomap is not the same as retinal photography. Typical retinal photographs can only view 30 degrees of the retina. Optomap can image 200 degrees – a huge difference! And, although a dilated view can show up to about 240 degrees – the quality of that view depends on how well the patient can hold their eye steady while bright lights are shining in their eye. and that’s only if the patient allows you to place dilating drops in their eyes.
Bottom line – Optomap and Dilation do not show exactly the same thing. The most comprehensive eye and medical health information occurs when I perform both Optomap and Dilation.
However, there are many patients who simply do not want to be dilated. Optomap is the very best technology for those patients. And, it’s a great test for kids.
Which tests we perform is always related to the patient’s eye health and medical history. What I find works best for many of our patients is to alternate – some years we perform Optomap testing and other years we perform dilation. That way we are always checking thoroughly, but getting slightly different information each time. Optomap is a powerful diagnostic tool and we are pleased to offer it at GH Eye!