Optomap is the latest and greatest new piece of equipment available to optometry today. OK.. it’s not the only thing we use to give the best eye exam but it does give us a tremendous helping hand in being more thorough and more information about the health of your eyes.
So you say, why should I care about it. It’s just another piece of equipment I don’t understand that some eye nerd gets all hyped up about. You’re right, we do get all hyped up about it. Here’s why.
Previous methods of looking inside the eye give us from 10* view to 45* view of the inside of the eye. What we see inside the eye tells us information about hypertension, diabetes, optic nerve diseases, retinal diseases, glaucoma and hemorrhages and holes tears and thin spots. It also lets us know many times if there are brain tumors, MS or other problems.. So you can see from this small list that it isn’t just eye problems but also body problems we can pick up on.
I have patients tell me on a fairly regular basis, “why do you need all this medical stuff.. it’s just an eye exam” But that is just it, it is an eye exam that tells us so much about the rest of the body. So now we have the optomap. Why does that make this so much more exciting.
Well with the Optomap we can get a view of 220* of the inside of the eye.. that’s huge! We can see parts of the peripheral retina that were previously unavailable to most of us if ever available to us as practitioners. We can see the far periphery where lots of bad stuff starts that would not be detected otherwise. We can see signs of diabetic retinopathy much earlier, holes, tears and potential detachments of the retina earlier. We can also see things like “bear tracks” that are linked to colon cancer. So you see this is exciting and a bit nerdy but it opens up so many more possibilities.
Right now it isn’t covered by most insurance so it is a private cash pay item. However, if you are going to pay $25-$30 extra for a dilated exam, then why wouldn’t you do this? This is a test that everyone should have. You don’t necessarily have to be dilated but sometimes it still is called for. This is exciting.. thrilling and yes.. a lot nerdy. You should come have yours done today so we can find out what we’ve been missing.