The Importance of Retinal Imaging
**To reduce the risk of spreading COVID-19 we have temporarily suspended routine pupil dilation. Until further notice, our doctors will ONLY perform dilation when there is a medical indication (i.e. high risk patients, diabetic patients, previous retinal issues). Our modified protocol for eye exams reduces the need for the doctor to be in close contact with the patient for an extended period of time.
We will perform a retinal exam by using state of the art technology to capture a retinal image that can then be examined by the doctor. All patients will need retinal imaging because we believe annual eye exams with retinal imaging are necessary for the optimal long-term care of our eyes. Most insurances offer this testing for a $35 copay.
We believe that vision is our most precious sense so we should do everything within our power to preserve it.
1) Retinal imaging is safe, sanitary and instantaneous
This procedure is very safe and sanitary. Our team cleans the device with
alcohol wipes between each patient. It only takes 1/2 second to capture a
retinal image that will be immediately available for interpretation by our
doctors versus having to wait 20-30 minutes for a dilated exam.
2) Retinal imaging is a very comfortable, quick, and painless procedure
In case you forgot, dilation stings (ouch)! Retinal imaging is comfortable,
quick and painless. As mentioned previously, dilation may be required for
the evaluation of your retina if the doctor deems it medically necessary.
3) Retinal imaging can be done on patients of all ages and on pregnant women.
Our eye care team has experience taking retinal photos with thousands of patients. This includes toddlers, kids, young adults, adults, and senior citizens. We also recommend this to all our patients who are pregnant; for the safety of your baby's development, our doctors prefer not to dilate unless absolutely necessary.
4) Retinal imaging does not impact your vision
Have important plans after your eye exam? Dilation will leave you with blurry vision up close that often lasts for 4 - 6 hours, you will also be sensitive to light. Retinal imaging does not impact your vision after the exam.
5) Retinal imaging is the ultimate tool to ensure the health of your eyes – and possibly your overall health
Did you know that most retinal disorders do not cause pain or other symptoms? Once a retinal problem causes a loss in vision, it's rarely reversible. However, when detected early enough, many retinal problems can be treated to avoid vision loss. As a result, early detection is vital to preserving optimal eye health. Also, some non eye related conditions in your body may be identified within your retinal image.
6) Retinal imaging is the best way to monitor change in your eye health over time (i.e. prevention)
Why? A picture is worth 1,000 words! Retinal imaging technology allows our doctors to compare past year's photos side by side to detect subtle changes and may lead to diagnosing an eye disease sooner.
I see really well and don’t have any complaints. Why should I get this?
Prevention, prevention, prevention! You never know what is going on inside your eyes unless you have a comprehensive eye exam. Our doctors have detected changes early that have lead to saving patients' vision before they were aware there was a change!
I have a family history of diabetes. Should I have retinal imaging done? If so, why?
Yes. Retinal imaging is particularly important for those who are at risk for diabetes since they are particularly prone to problems of the retina that can lead to vision loss. Retinal problems are the number one cause of blindness in America for those between the ages 20-70.
Does insurance cover retinal imaging?
Most vision plans do not offer coverage for retinal imaging at this time, unless it's medically necessary. In these cases retinal imaging would be billed to your medical insurance carrier (for example: if you are diabetic or have an eye disease like glaucoma or macular degeneration). We offer the testing for a $35 copay at our offices.