Special Retinal Examinations

Normally optometrists examine the back of the eye with an ophthalmoscope, and these are great instruments – easy to use, portable, and generally effective. They do have their limitations however, and so sometimes it is worth getting a more specialised examination.

Retinal photography

The very latest digital cameras have been attached to fundus cameras to give amazing results, and have the additional benefit of giving a permanent record, that can be assessed over time, or looked at by different practitioners. They are very expensive pieces of equipment, but are easy to use, and can be readily recommended for everyone – young, old, diabetic, hypertensive, healthy, or just curious. Because of the quality of these images, optometrists can often pick up on small changes they would not have been able to see in the past, and so hopefully we can advise on conditions like diabetes, macular degeneration, retinal detachments etc where early treatment is vital.

Digital Photography is standard on all over 60s in Scotland, under the NHS.

Indirect ophthalmoscopy – Volk lenses

Less high-tech than the cameras, but offer a better field of view and movement, and the huge benefit of stereoscopic images. Nothing shows the inside structures of the eye quite like these techniques. They generally will require the use of drops to enlarge the pupil, and so take a bit longer to have done, but whether this is done on a slit lamp, or with a binocular head unit, these are the gold medal winners of eye examinations