There is much more to an eye exam than determining an eyeglass prescription with the cliché question-and-answer period of "better 1 or 2." With the increasing frequency of systemic health issues such as diabetes and hypertension, having a comprehensive eye exam is becoming even more important. Many patients are unaware that these and other systemic conditions can affect the health of the internal structures of the eye. Optometrists need to be able to analyze these structures which include the retina (the light sensitive tissue lining the inner surface of the eye), optic nerve head (the structure that carries visual information from the eye to the brain) and macula (the most sensitive area of the retina, responsible for one's central vision) in order to identify and diagnose these conditions. Digital retinal photography has become one of the most sophisticated and advanced retinal assessment tools available to eyecare practitioners. With the aid of a high resolution camera and specialized optical system, retinal photography offers a quick, painless way to capture an image of the internal structures of the eye. Although optometrists analyze the health of the back of the eye with a microscope during each comprehensive eye exam, having a stored image of the retina is essential to provide a reference point for comparisons of that same eye over time.
Along with the systemic conditions listed above, diseases specific to the eye such as glaucoma, macular degeneration and optic nerve disease can often be detected sooner and documented with greater precision than before the advent of this technology. However, even patients who show no sign of disease should have retinal photos taken at each eye exam. This is because there are some eye diseases that often have no symptoms until internal damage has already occurred.
As primary health care providers, optometrists are responsible for identifying disease at the earliest stage possible; so at your next eye exam remember to smile and say cheese as your optometrist snaps that impressive retinal photo!
Dr. Pozzer always welcomes new patients of all ages!
Dr. Kristyn Pozzer
Millcroft Shopping Centre
2080 Appleby Line, Unit E6
Burlington, Ontario, L7L6M6
Tel: (905) 319-1066