Optomap Images The Retina

The retina is a very sensitive and extremely important tissue that is located in the back of your eyes.  It contains several layers of delicate tissue and has specialized photoreceptor cells that absorb light and transmit visual information to the visual cortex in the brain for processing.  Retinal tissue is very delicate, and there are  currently no widely available ways to regrow retinal cells in patients with retinal disease at this time.  Needless to say,   its very important for your eye doctor to be able to properly view and assess the health of your retina during your eye exam.

How Does Optomap Work?

Optomap uses laser based imaging technology to scan the retina at different wavelengths in combination with a specialized mirrored optical surface.  The data is then interpreted by computer software and a virtual 3-D model of the inside of the eye is created.  Optomap allows for widefield imaging of the retina through even small undilated pupils.  While traditional optical imaging devices can capture only 15 percent of the central retina, optomap can capture over 80 percent of the retina in a single scan!

Why Is Optomap So Effective In Detecting Eye Disease?

Optomap images provide high quality and in depth information to your eye doctor that can improve detection and diagnosis of both ocular and system diseases.  A good example is type II diabetes, many patients with unknown or borderline type II diabetes were first diagnosed with diabetic retinopathy during their eye exam and then subsequently referred for further care. 

For patients with high myopia, being able to image the peripheral retina is key to detecting retinal holes and tears which can lead to retinal detachments.   As high myopes are more likely to develop potentially sight threatening retinal detachments, optomap has become a breakthrough imaging technology in their prevention as early diagnosis provides the opportunity for surgical retinal repair.

At Optiview Eye Clinic our routine eye exams include Optomap imaging for all adults and seniors. Most children around six years of age or older are also candidates for optomap imaging.

Does Optomap Replace Dilation?

While optomap is an amazing technology for imaging the retina much more effectively than traditional devices there are some limitations that we must consider.  For far peripheral retinal views close to the ora serrata dilation and indirect ophthalmoscopy will allow your eye doctor to see further out.  Furthermore, dilation allows for better analysis of eye structures anterior to the retina such as the lens for cataract diagnosis and the vitreous.

Do My Eyes Have to Be Dilated For An Optomap Scan?

For most patients with average or larger pupil sizes we can obtain a high quality Optomap image without having to dilate the eyes. This means no blurry vision for 4-6 hours after your eye exam!  If you have particularly small pupils or your 

Can Kids Get An Optomap Scan?

The main limiting factor in whether we can obtain high quality Optomap images for children is the ability of the child to sit relatively still and focus on a light for 3-5 seconds.  For most kids, by the age of 6 this is usually obtainable.  Due to the ergonomic design of the Optomap California, its easily accessible for small children if they sit on their parents lap. 

Is Optomap Wheelchair Accessible?

Optomap is easily wheelchair accessible as patients can be brought directly up to the instrument with the patient remaining seated in their wheelchair for the duration of the scan.

I Can See Fine, Do I Still Need An Optomap Exam?

Absolutely, yes.  Many of the sight and life threatening conditions than can be detected during an optomap exam may be detected despite having 20/20 vision.  That’s right, even people with “perfect eyesight” can have seriously underlying conditions like retinal tears, ocular melanoma (eye cancer), and more.

Can Pregnant Women Get an Optomap Scan?

At Optiview Eye Clinic, our eye doctors prefer not to use dilating eye drops on pregnant women due to potential for fetal side effects including decreased heart rate.  We prefer Optomap as a safe way to examine retinal health.  For breastfeeding moms we recommend the same protocol..

How Much Is An Optomap Scan?

At our clinic Optomap is included with every adult and senior eye exam at no charge.  For children there is a $35 dollar fee for the scan. To schedule an eye exam follow this link.

Optomap Patient Case Example – Diabetes

In this example the patient’s name has been redacted for privacy, we weill refer to the patient as Mr. R.

Mr. R. is a 47 year old patient who presented for a routine eye exam with no particular complaints.  He was able to see perfectly well and obtained 20/20 visual acuity in both eyes during his eye exam. Mr. R. reported no current medications and no current medical conditions. He reported borderline blood sugar but hadn’t had bloodwork conducted in two or three years.  Optomap was conducted as part of his pre-test.  Dr. Sharma reviewed his Optomap scans and noted 7-8 peripheral dot hemorrhages in the retina in both of his eyes.  The peripheral location of these hemorrhages would not be detectable by ordinary retinal cameras.  Based on this Optomap scan, Dr. Sharma diagnosed background diabetic retinopathy in Mr. D and referred him to a walk in clinic for further investigation.  At follow-up in 3 months Mr. D noted that his blood sugar readings were indeed too high and he had been started on medication for Type II Diabetes by his physician and was also being seen by an endocrinologist.