For many years, the standard practice when going to get an eye exam was for the doctor to dilate your eyes. By doing this, he or she could take a better look at your pupils and diagnose any issues. Although still widely used today, dilation has been succeeded by an innovative new practice, digital retinal imaging. This short guide is going to explain the difference between digital retinal imaging vs dilation and help you see the benefits of this groundbreaking technique.
Old School: Dilation
Dilation is a process that you may or may not be familiar with. What happens is eye drops are placed in the pupil area which causes them to expand but also blurs your vision for around 4 to 6 hours.
It takes thirty minutes for it to kick in then the doctor will spend 10 to 15 minutes evaluating your eyes with a bright light and a magnifying tool. From here, the doctor can make an assessment and determine the course of action best suited for treating you.
Wave of the Future: Digital Retinal Imaging
As you have probably experienced or can guess, dilating your eyes can be a bit of a hassle. You generally need someone to take you to your appointment since you will not be able to drive afterwards. Plus it comes with added sensitivity to light so you really have to be careful.
Digital retinal imaging takes eye examinations in the future. Although it is a bit more expensive (since it is a new practice) than traditional dilation, it comes with a wave of benefits. First of all, it gives a much broader picture of the eye. Instead of examining the eye and making a decision, digital imaging creates a series of images for the doctor to exam.
Not only that, but it saves time. The scan only takes a second. Just a quick beam of a laser and it is over. There is no pain and no dilation. And it gets so much more information being able to assess a whole range of issues that can be going on with the eye. Not only this, instead of the doctor examining you, he or she can spend time analyzing the images so it is much more comfortable.
Finally, the scan can be used to not only assess eye issues, but since it can take a look at your blood vessels, arteries and nerves, it can be used to diagnose a host of conditions from heart disease to diabetes to even the possibility of stroke. And it creates a file so you can keep the image and it can be used in the future for a more complete understanding of your ocular health over time.
Get a Wider View
Dilation only allows the doctor to see about fifteen percent of your eye. With digital retinal imaging, that number is increased by 80%. This means more accurate diagnoses and a better understanding of your health. So the next time you go in for a checkup, be sure to opt for digital retinal imaging, it is worth every cent!