For centuries the art of medicine has been dominated by breaks, bumps, bruises or other symptoms felt by the patient or discovered by the physician. Over time, clinical findings have been enhanced by increasingly sophisticated technology like the microscope, the x-ray, and the MRI. To find an illness, doctors first had to look or listen for the symptom. With chronic eye diseases however, symptoms are often very late in the disease process, and more often than not, are painless. What a patient believes to be the need to change their glasses can actually be a vision threatening condition like glaucoma, macular degeneration or a retinal detachment. Unfortunately, in some cases, by the time the patient makes it in for the exam, the condition has advanced and vision loss is irreversible. Avoiding scenarios like this can only be accomplished through yearly vision and eye health examinations.
At Cockrell Eyecare Center we utilize the most advanced technology available for diagnosis and management of eye disease. One of the instruments we utilize is the Optomap Retinal Exam. This instrument is one of the most sophisticated retinal imaging technologies available today. The test takes just seconds to perform and is usually done immediately prior to you seeing your doctor. The retinal image produced from the Optomap exam is unique in that it gives your eye doctor a much larger view (200 degrees) of the inside of your eye vs. conventional eye exam equipment. Each Optomap image is as individual as a fingerprint or DNA strand. It provides a unique view of your eye health very quickly, and comfortably. The image is captured in less than one second and is immediately available for your doctor to review with you. The image can be minified, magnified or scrolled through to various views of the retina, the retinal blood vessels, macula and optic nerve. It allows the doctor to view your retina without a continuous blinding light for what feels like forever.
We recommend and offer the Optomap Retinal Exam to all patients. We trust in this technology for great baseline information on every patient as well as for continued care and management of their eye health. We strongly encourage those who have greater than normal eye disease risk to consider the technology. Those include patients with a family or personal history of diabetes, vascular disease including heart disease, high cholesterol, and hypertension, glaucoma, macular degeneration, or collagen vascular diseases such as Lupus or Rheumatoid Arthritis. In addition, patients experiencing flashes or floaters, unexplained headaches, recent changes in vision, lazy eye, or those with significantly large prescriptions are all encouraged to have the exam.
Patients who feel they don’t fall into these categories should consider the testing to establish baseline findings for the future. The Optomap retinal images can be aligned side by side to allow the comparison of multiple years of exams. It’s like comparing yearly X-rays or MRI’s over time. One of the greatest benefits of this technology is it allows you to see what your doctor sees and helps you understand your eye health better. Being able to visualize diabetic retinopathy, the actual blood vessels leaking, the beginning of, or advancement of damage from glaucoma, macular degeneration, or the beginning of a retinal tear or detachment, can help you understand your situation more clearly.
If you are interested in learning more about this technology or would like to have an Optomap Retinal Exam please contact our office in Stillwater at 405-372-1715. We also invite you to visit our website at www.cockrelleyecare.com and like us on Facebook at Cockrell Eye Care Center!