What is a Retinal Eye Exam?

Visiting an eye care professional for a comprehensive retinal exam is an important part of maintaining healthy vision. A retinal exam involves dilating the pupils and looking into the eyes with a bright light and a special microscope to visualize the retina, optic nerve and blood vessels that are at the back of the eye. During a retinal exam in Phoenix, each eye is closely inspected for signs of common vision problems and eye diseases, many of which have no early warning signs.

The following diseases or medical conditions may be diagnosed by or screened for during a retinal exam:

Key elements of a retinal examination include dilation, tonometry, visual field test and a visual acuity test.

Dilation is an important part of a retinal exam at Associated Retina Consultants because it enables your doctor to view the inside of the eye. Drops placed in each eye widen the pupil which is the opening in the center of the iris (the colored part of the eye). Dilating the pupil allows more light to enter the eye. Once dilated, each eye is examined using a special magnifying lens that provides a clear view of important tissues at the back of the eye, including the retina, the macula and the optic nerve. Retinal imaging may be used in place of dilation for some patients.

Tonometry is a test that helps detect glaucoma. By directing a quick puff of air onto the eye, or gently applying a pressure-sensitive tip near or against the eye, your doctor can detect elevated eye pressure which can be a risk factor for glaucoma.

A Visual field test measures your side (peripheral) vision. A loss of peripheral vision may be a sign of glaucoma.

A Visual acuity test will require you to read an eye chart which allows your doctor to gauge how well you see at various distances.

Depending on the results of your retinal exam, additional tests may be administered. To schedule a retinal exam in Phoenix, contact Associated Retina Consultants at 602-242-4928 or associatedretinaconsultants.com today.

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