A retinal examination takes longer than most general eye examinations. You can expect to be in our office for approximately two hours. Dilating eye drops will be administered to open your pupil.
This allows us to see back to your retina. Since it takes up to 30 minutes for the dilating drops to take full effect, it will be necessary for you to wait after dilation before you see the doctor. Examining the retina requires very bright lights but this will not harm the eye. When the examination is over, Dr De Wit will discuss his findings with you. Your eyes will remain dilated for several hours so please plan accordingly. Many patients who come in for a retinal examination will need a test called a fluorescein angiogram. During this test, a dye is injected into a vein in your arm. Rapid sequence photographs of the retina are then captured. The dye shows the blood vessels in the retina in clear detail and allows identification of abnormal or damaged blood vessels so your treatment can be tailored according to your findings.
At Barossa Eye Clinic, we use state-of-the-art diagnostic tools, lasers, and equipment to further enhance diagnosis and treatment, and use the latest advances and methods to provide each patient with an individualized treatment plan.
AGE RELATED MACULAR DEGENERATION (AMD)
Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is a complex degenerative retinal disease that is a leading cause of vision loss among people age 50 and older. It causes damage to the macula, a small area in the center of the retina and the part of the eye needed for sharp, central vision.
Diabetic retinopathy is caused by damage to the retina. It can develop in anyone who has also been diagnosed with type 1 or type 2 diabetes, and is particularly common in patients who have had these conditions for a while. Diabetic retinopathy causes a number of symptoms as it progresses, including floaters, blurred vision, impaired color vision, dark areas in your eyesight and vision loss.
FLOATERS AND FLASHES
Floaters look like small specks, dots, circles, lines or cobwebs in your field of vision. Flashes can look like flashing lights or lightning streaks in your field of vision. They happen when the vitreous pulls on the retina. Sometimes floaters and flashes signal conditions that can lead to vision loss.
RETINAL TEAR / RETINAL DETACHMENT
As we age, the vitreous slowly shrinks, and as it does so, its fine fibres pull on the retinal surface to pull away from it. Usually the fibres break, allowing the vitreous to separate – an event called a posterior vitreous detachment (PVD). This is a common process that usually doesn’t threaten vision. However, in about one in six people, a PVD causes the retina to tear. Always see an eye professional if you have symptoms which bother you as they persist or are increasing in severity.