You will have heard the phrase, “You can tell a lot about your health from your eyes”, and it is true. That is why we encourage all our patients to have the Optomap. This allows us to take an image of up to 80% of the back of the eye in less than a second. The standard camera, including the one used by the retinal screening services, is only able to view 15%.
I have heard Optomap helpfully compared in this way. If the dentist asked you just to smile to check your teeth and then told you it all looks fine you might not feel reassured. But when they ask you to open wide and carry out a full examination that is like Optomap.
Everyone should have this test regularly but especially those with flashes or floaters, diabetes and hypertension. The detail of the view of all the blood vessels and nerves is incredible.
Mainly we are seeking to reassure patients that things have not changed as we compare from one visit to the next. Should a referral to an ophthalmologist be required we send the images electronically as the hospital do not have the same equipment. We are in a small group of only 10 practices in Northern Ireland who have invested in this equipment.
This examination is not included under the NHS and there is a small charge for this extra test.