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5 Eye Diseases That Can Be Detected With Retinal Imaging During An Eye Exam

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5 Eye Diseases That Can Be Detected With Retinal Imaging During An Eye Exam

Many eye diseases and conditions can begin to develop without your knowledge. Your vision might seem fine and you may not experience any irritation or abnormal symptoms, but that doesn’t mean you don’t need to worry about your eye health. In their early stages many eye conditions can only be detected by a professional optometrist during an eye exam. One test optometrists use to get a better view of the inside of your eye so that they can see fine details is through retinal imaging. This provides an unobstructed view of the back of the eye (the retina), including blood vessels, the optic nerve, and the optic disc. Here are some of the eye conditions that can be detected using retinal imaging during an eye exam.

Retinal Imaging Eye Exams Can Detect:

  1. Glaucoma
    Glaucoma is a collection of eye conditions that causes damage to the optic nerve. This damage is often caused by increased pressure within the eye. Glaucoma typically begins to develop without presenting symptoms, and by the time symptoms are apparent, vision is permanently damaged. To detect glaucoma before symptoms develop, your optometrist will use 5 tests to screen for glaucoma so that the progression of this disease can be slowed and vision can be preserved. One of these tests is retinal imaging. This provides clear photos of your optic nerve for your optometrist to examine. The photos of your optic nerve are kept on file to track any year-to-year changes.
  2. Age-Related Macular Degeneration
    Also known as AMD, this condition tends to develop in adults over 50. AMD affects the central vision and can cause the distortion of straight lines, blurred vision, central vision loss, or more. AMD does not affect a person’s peripheral vision. During an eye exam, retinal imaging can be used to identify drusen (small deposits of proteins and lipids that build up under the retina), fluid deposits in the retina, and retinal thinning, all of which cause AMD. To learn more about AMD, read AMD Awareness Month: What Is Age-Related Macular Degeneration?
  3. Diabetic Retinopathy
    This condition can occur in people with either type 1 or type 2 diabetes. When sugar levels in the blood are too high, it can damage the thin and delicate blood vessels within the eye. High blood sugar levels can cause blockages within the retinal blood vessels that cause the eye to develop other abnormal blood vessels that can leak blood into the eye. Retinal imaging can show optometrists these abnormal blood vessels as well as any blood or fluid leaks.
  4. Retinal Detachment
    The retina can become detached from the back of the eye, either partially or fully. Sometimes a partial retinal detachment is not noticed right away, but a full retinal detachment will immediately alter your vision. Retinal detachment can cause sudden flashes or lots of floaters, a loss of vision in one eye, the appearance of a grey sheet over your vision, and reduced peripheral vision. If you suddenly experience any of these symptoms, seek emergency eye care immediately. A retinal detachment can be identified with retinal imaging.
  5. Hypertensive Retinopathy
    This condition is similar to diabetic retinopathy, but it is caused by high blood pressure instead of blood sugar. If blood pressure is too high or if cholesterol has built up in the veins, the blood vessels within the eyes can become damaged. When a persona has hypertensive retinopathy, the blood vessels within the eyes can become narrowed, thickened, or ruptured. These indicators of this eye condition can be identified during retinal imaging administered during an eye exam.


Eye Exams For Better Eye Health

Retinal imaging during your regular eye exams is an important part of ocular health. This test gives your optometrist a clear and detailed view of the inside of your eye so that they can make sure everything looks the way it is supposed to. When you have an eye exam with Market Mall Optometry, our optometrists will ensure that you are receiving top-quality treatment and that you understand any eye condition you have or are at risk of developing. If you have received a diagnosis, our optometrists will work with you to develop a management plan so that your eyes can stay in good condition for longer. To book an eye exam at Market Mall Optometry and to take control of your eye health, call 1-403-286-4884 or fill out the online contact form.



Q: What should I expect at an eye exam?
A: A standard eye exam includes:

  • Assessment to test colour deficiency
  • Measurement of depth perception
  • Measurement of the pressure inside of your eyes
  • Measurement of your existing glasses prescription
  • A review of any health concerns you may have or that may be in your family history
  • Examination of your eyes with and without the help of lenses 
  • Full assessment of the health of your eyes 
  • Retinal photo to assess the health of the back of your eyes 
  • Optometrist-determined prescription

Q: What are some signs that I should visit an optometrist?
A: While you should see your optometrist once a year or every two years depending on your age, you may want to book an eye exam sooner rather than later if you are experiencing any concerns with your eyes. This includes vision issues such as blurry vision, as well as eye health concerns such as red eyes, itchy eyes, pain in or around the eye, or anything else that is out of the ordinary. Here is a list of reasons you should schedule an eye exam.

Q: I’ve already had an eye exam in the past year, but something is strange about my vision. Should I see my eye doctor?
A: If you are having any vision issues, you should schedule an eye exam, even if you had one recently. Your vision and eye health can change in an instant and it is always better to err on the side of caution. If your vision problem is an eye emergency, come to Market Mall Optometry right away to receive professional help.

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