With people being glued to screens more and more hours each day, eye issues have become a lot more common in recent times. Most office jobs (and not only those) basically require 8 hours of screen time every day, with brief pauses in which employees usually use their smartphone to check social media. Our ways of passing time at home revolve around a TV, console and/or computer screen. With so many things which affect our eyesight, it’s only reasonable that our eye exams become more frequent.
Currently, having a yearly full-fledged eye exam is both acceptable and almost expected. This eye exam consists of multiple investigations, some of which are mandatory, while others are not. Some patients don’t particularly enjoy having more reviews than necessary on their eyes, but there is one test which shouldn’t be overlooked under any conditions: Retinal Imaging.
What is retinal imaging and why is it important?
First off, we must state that the investigation is as non-invasive as possible and suitable for all ages. This is especially important when dealing patients with risk factors such other related findings or family history. Thankfully, retinal imaging is now done with new, modern equipment and only takes a few minutes, with minimal fuss for the patient. The test is done using low-intensity scanning light and has no known side effects. Actually, nobody reported any kind of serious concern both during and after the test in over 50 million examinations.
Now that we’ve concluded that retinal imaging is easy to perform, we must step into why people should do it. There are three main reasons why retinal imaging shouldn’t be skipped in any eye exam:
1. The first signs of most ocular conditions are seen in the retina
This means that any possible disease can be very quickly and easily treated, because it is caught very early. A small deficiency is always natural to correct, and all potential treatments are also more comfortable for the patient. Retinal imaging is also a very automated process, meaning that all retina-related conditions are automatically analyzed, diagnosed and stored by a computer, which leaves very little room for human error.
2. Retinal exam results are easily stored and occupy very little space
This means that your optometrist can compare year-over-year results (assuming you take an eye exam each year) very quickly. This feature is critical in tracking treatment and disease progression, as well as rapidly noticing any anomalies.
3. Lots of non-ocular conditions can be first detected in the retina
Some types of cancer and diabetes first leave signs in the retina, well before any other symptoms are visible throughout the body. Catching such serious diseases very early is critical in their treatment, and a retinal imaging exam can make the difference between a quick and easy fix and a long fight.
To sum up, there is no good reason to skip retinal imaging at your yearly eye exam. The investigation is non-invasive, takes very little time, and the benefits cannot be stressed enough. Retinal imaging is the first step in diagnosing not only ocular conditions but other serious diseases like cancer and diabetes. Consider it as an early warning sign against so many different adversaries.