Every eye doctor of any variety I have ever met has commented on my vision. I think the best description was “funky.” As I do have many vision problems and there are a few hereditary ones that could crop up, I am often game for tests to make sure my eyes are going to continue working as best they can.
I was very overdue for new glasses and I finally had enough time to make an appointment. They asked if I wanted to have this new test…retinal imaging. It was recommended due to my age (oh, the joys of being middle aged…) as a baseline. I was curious to see how healthy my eyes were anyway, so I agreed. My eyes are healthy, even if they don’t work like everyone else’s. I was also curious.
What is retinal imaging? In a nutshell, retinal imaging is a 3D picture of the retina. It’s impossible to see the retina without some sort of imaging, just by its nature. Trying to use a 2D method will simply show red. The 3D method shows damage caused by a lot of different problems, including diabetes and cardiovascular disease.
Why should I get one? Any problem caught early is more likely to be treatable…or at least slowed down some. Getting a baseline at around 50 will also give the eye doctor a reference to work with. Changes from the last imaging will be more noticeable because there was a last image taken.
Who needs the test? In a way it would be good for everyone to have the test done. While it is unlikely a child would have glaucoma, diabetes or cardiovascular disease it is possible. The test can show more than that. Infections and injuries can damage the retina. This is something that should be discussed with the doctor.
When should I get one? If you have underlying health problems, especially those mentioned above, it’s a good idea to get one as soon as possible. If there is any reason to suspect an injury or infection has attacked the eyes, it might be wise. All of us should get a baseline when we hit middle age and then repeats as ordered.
Where can I get this test done? In eastern Ventura County, Dr. Osterloh provides this test. The machine in his office does a number of other retinal tests, including those that require the eyes to be dilated. Some optometry and doctor’s offices have a simpler version. Your best bet is to call around until you find one in your area.
Because I have had vision problems all my life I often think about what it would be like if I couldn’t see at all. I don’t think I’d care for that, so any test that will help me keep my vision is important. Even if I had to pay full price I would go for it.