Eye Treatments, Health, Outpatient Surgery, Retinal Imaging

Retinal Photography

Almost every ophthalmologist in the United States has a color retinal photography camera. Retinal photography cameras can view most of the macula, retina, and optic nerve. While this test is useful in determining the level of blood build up in the retinal vessels, it does not give details of the flow of blood.

Typical Retinal Imaging Photo

Normal Retinal Photo

Retinal Angiography

Abnormal Retinal Angiogram Image

Retinal angiography is an optical technique that evaluates the blood flow of the retinal vessels within the eye.

A sterile solution called “fluorescein dye” is administered in the arm. A special retinal camera equipped with a green filter flashes a blue light into the eye. This filter distinguishes the fluorescein as it circulates within the retina and gives time lapsed information the ophthalmologist can use to diagnose and treat patients.

Since retinal angiography is an optical technique, X-ray radiation is NOT used. Unless allergic to fluorescein, this test may be repeated on multiple occasions with no harm to the eye or body.

Optical Coherence Tomography (OCT)

Optical Coherence Tomography – otherwise known as OCT is digital imagery that has changed how eye care providers “view” the layers of the retina. OCT technology transmits light onto the retina.

Based on how light scatters within the retinal living tissue the OCT creates digital 3D retinal images. Depending on the features of these images it is easier to identify some diseases of the retina.

Optical Coherence Tomography Image

While the photo can locate a retinal hole (top image)
The OCT demonstrates height and vacuole spaces
not viewable with digital photography (bottom image)

While the OCT has several advantages (ease of use, no needles or intravenous dye required and uses no bright light flashes) it has the disadvantage of not identifying blood flow. OCT would require additional retinal testing when measuring the flow of blood within the retina is necessary.

Today’s ophthalmic imaging devices are constantly improving. Digital ophthalmic imaging technology advancements have created in-office optical imaging systems that can discern the individual components of tissue that make up the retina.

If you would like to learn more, please schedule an appointment with one of our eye surgeons today.

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