Dr. Lewis & Associates offers a state‐of‐the‐art digital scanning technology that allows us to view the inside of your eye without the use of dilation drops in most cases. >The OPTOMAP is an imaging device that allows us to evaluate your retina for problems such as retinal tears, retinal detachments, retinal tumors, macular degeneration, hypertension, and diabetic retinopathy. This image is completely safe for kids and adults and does not emit radiation like an X-ray.
Optomap Frequently Asked Questions
What is this?
Have you ever been dilated at a past eye exam? The purpose of dilation is to gain a better view of the retina, which is the back of the eye that is responsible for transmitting visual information from the eye to the brain. The problem is that dilation has side effects that many people find unpleasant: the drops sting on instillation, require a longer office visit to take effect, and make patients light sensitive and blurry for up to 4-6 hours. For this reason a company called Optos created a device called the Optomap. The Optomap allows a wide-field 200 degree view of the retina that can replace the need for a dilated exam in most cases (although sometimes we will still recommend dilation).
Do I need this?
The purpose of the Optomap is to evaluate the health of the retina. It has nothing to do with prescribing glasses or contact lenses. For this reason, some patients who say they are only in for an exam to update their prescription decline to have an Optomap. We are more than happy to perform an exam to update a prescription for glasses or contact lenses without dilation or the Optomap If that is what the patient desires. But patients need to understand that we will only be able to see a much smaller portion of their retina during the exam.
What do you look for with the Optomap?
The Optomap allows us to evaluate your retina for problems such as retinal tears, retinal detachments, retinal tumors, macular degeneration, hypertension, and diabetic retinopathy. There are many other retinal conditions that can be detected as well. Early detection can often be the difference in successful treatment of many eye conditions.
I had this last time, do I need it again?
You are not required to have an Optomap at every exam that you have at our office. But just because your retina looked fine at a previous exam does not mean that eye health can’t change over time. Note the following example:
Initial exam with Dr. Lewis
Exam 2 years later (no new symptoms)
Patient Don E. came in for routine exam with no complaints. His latest Optomap showed a new horseshoe retinal tear with detachment. He was referred for same day emergency retinal surgery which likely prevented loss of vision in his left eye.
“The Optomap was key in diagnosing and treating a problem that could have lead to vision loss in my left eye.” -Don E.
Optomap image advantages
1. No blurred vision
2. No light sensitivity
3. Images can be captured in 0.25 of a second
4. Permanent record of retina for future comparison
5. Images help patients understand their eye health
Dilated exam disadvantages
1. Blurred near vision for 4 – 6 hours
2. Light sensitivity for 4 – 6 hours
3. 20-30 min longer office visit waiting for drops to work
4. No permanent image for future comparison
5. Explanations of eye health more difficult
Optomap image showing retinal tear
Retinal image with a horseshoe tear that
would be very difficult to detect without the
Optomap. Problems such as retinal tears can occur without symptoms and potentially lead
to retinal detachment and vision loss. Dr.
Lewis and his associates have discovered
retinal tears in numerous patients through the
use of the Optomap. Prompt referral to a
retinal specialist saved vision in each case
We recommend that ALL patients have a thorough examination of their retina during every routine eye exam.Without the Optomap or the dilated examination, the doctor cannot fully assess the health of the back of your eyes.
There is an additional fee of only $25 for the Optomap. In most cases, this procedure is not covered by insurance.