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What is an Optomap retinal examination?

Available at our Preston practice, the Optomap ultra-wide digital imaging system allows us to capture more than 80% of your retina in one panoramic image.

Without retinal imaging, we are only able to see 10-12% at any one time. The Optomap enhances our ability to detect even the earliest sign of disease that presents on your retina. Seeing most of your retina at one time allows us time to discuss your retina with you and allows you to see what we see!

One of the greatest benefits of Optomap is our ability to save and store the images on your file, allowing us to compare images at future examinations. As a result, we are able to monitor your retina much more accurately over the years. All of our optometrists strongly recommend the Optomap – as included in our Platinum eye examination.


What is the optomap?

The Optomap exam helps us check the health of your retina and allows us to see a much greater area of the retina at one time than we have in the past.

Who invented it?

A Scotsman whose son went blind after a tear in his retina was not identified early enough. Having seen his son go through many traumatic examinations, he set about trying to develop something which would make it easier to see all around the retina.

What technology does it use?

Low powered lasers are used to take the image. The level of laser light is so low it is not harmful to the eyes. This allows the analysis of the retinal substructures in their individual laser separations.

What safety checks have been performed to make sure it is safe?

The product has been rigorously tested by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and has been passed as safe. It has also been tested in Europe and is CE marked, ensuring it is safe to use in patients.

Is this examination better than the one I usually have?

When you come in for an eyesight test, our optometrist always checks the back of your eye, the retina, with an ophthalmoscope. The ophthalmoscope allows a small area of the retina to be seen at one time. The optometrist gets a better view of your retina by moving around the area trying to make sure he sees as much of the retina as possible. The optomap exam allows a much bigger area to be seen at once and also gives us a digital image we can review with you.

If I don’t want an optomap examination, will I still receive a good examination?

We will always offer you a very high standard of care. We think the optomap significantly increases the level of care we can offer you and that is why we would recommend you accept this examination.

How long will the examination take?

Around 5-10 minutes.

When will the results be available?

Your image will be displayed on screen after the examination – literally a few seconds after. This will be transferred to your optometrist who will talk through the image with you explaining what is seen.

What will happen if there is a suspicious area on my retina?

The Optomap is a screening tool and is very useful for detecting early signs of diseases or conditions affecting the retina. If the optometrist sees something they are unsure of, they will perform another examination to get a closer look at what they have seen. They may also send you to an ophthalmologist for further investigation.

What does the examination cost?

We have different examination packages available, our Platinum examination includes additional tests including optomap and is an additional £20 on top of a private eye examination, or a £30 upgrade for NHS examinations (£20 for children).

Can children have the examination?

Yes – this is an examination we would recommend for children.

Can I wear contact lenses during the examination?

Yes – we can take the image without you having to remove your lenses.

Do I need to have my eyes dilated to have the examination?

No – there is no need for dilation.

Will I be left with any blurred vision after the examination?

No –You can get back to normal activities immediately after the exam.

I have diabetes – is it okay for me to have this test?

Absolutely – in fact, it is essential you have the examination, as people who have diabetes are particularly prone to problems with the retina that could lead to blindness. We’d recommend you have an examination every year.

I have a cataract; can I have this test?

The instrument can image through certain cataracts so you should have the exam.

I am pregnant; can I have the test done?

Yes – the exam is perfectly safe.

I am epileptic; can I have the test done?

The device uses flashes of laser light and some patients with epilepsy may be sensitive to flashes of light. Caution should therefore be exercised for patients who have a history of reaction to camera flashes or strobe lighting.

I have a pacemaker; can I have the test done?

Yes – the instrument uses technology that does not involve powerful magnets or pulses of energy which would affect a pacemaker

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