If you have been coming to Downtown Vision Care for eye exams, you know that we have taken a retinal photograph of the back of your eye for more than 25 years.

This retinal photograph is so important for monitoring changes in pigment spots/freckles/nevi, monitoring changes in the optic nerve (for glaucoma) or macula (for macular degeneration). These retinal photographs have captured an area about 40 degrees wide. This has been good because most of the worrisome changes in the back of our eye happen in this area.

However, new technology now allows us to capture a retinal photograph of 200 degrees. This is so amazing! This camera is able to capture this wide field of view without dilating a persons pupil which is also so amazing! The camera is made by Zeiss, the company that makes some of the best camera and astronomical and microscope lenses.

This allows us to detect and monitor more nevi, to catch earlier changes in diabetes and to detect retinal degenerations before they cause problems like retinal detachments. We are so thrilled with this advantage. There are also very good color filters in the camera that allow us to see changes in different layers of the retina. This is very good for detecting early changes in macular degeneration.

Because this camera is taking a picture with such a wide field of view, it must illuminate that much bigger area of the retina. This makes it seem that the flash is brighter. The flash is not brighter, and your eye recovers just as fast from the flash. Most people see a purple after image. One lady told me ‘it does seem brighter, but softer too, it wasn’t too bad at all’.