Retinal Exams in Tuscaloosa, AL

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What Is a Retinal Exam?

At inVision Ophthalmology Tuscaloosa, we are happy to provide retinal exams for certain people who have developed or have a higher potential for certain serious eye conditions, like diabetic retinopathy, macular degeneration, retinal detachment, and glaucoma. With nearly all eye conditions, early detection and identification are key to effective intervention. This is why having regular comprehensive exams is very important. A retinal exam (also called funduscopy or ophthalmoscopy) is performed using a special lens to provide a close-up picture of the back of your eye, which includes the optic nerve, retina, and blood vessels. The test is typically done while the eye is dilated and may be performed as part of a comprehensive eye exam. To schedule an exam, contact our team in Tuscaloosa, AL.

What Are the Benefits of A Retinal Exam?

If you are at risk for serious eye issues or have experienced them in the past, retinal exams are a crucial part of ensuring future eye health. Benefits of retinal exams performed by the skilled and qualified team at inVision Ophthalmology include:

  • Getting a clear view of the retina and the back of the eye
  • Multiple tests and methods may be available for a complete picture of the retina
  • Updating those at risk for diabetic retinopathy, macular degeneration, retinal detachment, or glaucoma on their retinal health
  • The exam is usually painless

What to Expect During a Retinal Exam

Prior to performing your retinal exam, we will place drops into your eyes to expand your pupils. Once your eyes are dilated, we will ask you to rest your chin and forehead against a frame to hold your head steady. Your doctor will then utilize an ophthalmoscope, a lighted magnifying tool, to look into the back of your eye. This gives your doctor a close-up view of the retina and the tissues and blood vessels at the back of the eye. Depending on your risk for certain eye diseases, such as glaucoma, sometimes a retinal exam is performed in combination with tonometry and visual field tests. Since your pupils will be dilated for the next few hours, you might have sensitivity to light or slightly blurred vision after your exam. If any signs of disease are detected during your retinal exam, we may recommend scheduling a subsequent appointment for follow-up testing.

How often should I have a retinal exam?

The frequency of retinal exams depends on a number of individual patient factors such as age, medical history, and existing eye conditions. Generally speaking, adults without specific eye issues may be advised to have a comprehensive eye exam, including a retinal exam, every one to two years. People with diabetes or other eye conditions may require more frequent examinations. Our caring team will continuously monitor your eye health and any changes in your overall health or condition that may warrant a change in the frequency of your retinal exams.

Does a retinal exam hurt?

No, a retinal exam is typically painless. It involves the use of eye drops to dilate the pupils for better visualization of the retina. While the drops may cause temporary blurred vision and sensitivity to light, the actual exam involves noninvasive techniques such as scanning or photography to capture detailed images of the retina.

Will I need someone to drive me home after a retinal exam?

The dilation eye drops used during a retinal exam can cause temporary vision impairment, including sensitivity to light and blurred vision. As a precaution, it's advisable to have someone accompany you or arrange for alternative transportation after the exam. The effects of dilation usually wear off within a few hours, but it's important to prioritize safety, especially if driving might be challenging immediately after the appointment.

Screen for eye diseases

Even if you are not having any vision problems, it's still important to have regular eye exams, especially if you have a family history of eye disease. The expert team at inVision Ophthalmology Tuscaloosa performs retinal exams to screen for a variety of diseases and lower the risk of vision loss. If it has been a while since your last eye evaluation, we invite you to schedule a retinal exam in Tuscaloosa, AL. Our practice is in-network with virtually every vision insurance provider.

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*Individual results are not guaranteed and may vary from person to person. Images may contain models.