Retinal Diagnosis and Testing
At Colorado Retina, we use a number of different retinal testing modalities to evaluate your retina and spot any abnormalities, damage, or illnesses. Let’s look at how each of these techniques enables us to reach a quick and painless retinal diagnosis.
Dilated Eye Exam
A dilated eye exam is a common retinal diagnostic test. We place special drops into your eyes that keep your pupils open so we can assess the condition of your retina, macula, and optic nerve. It takes about 15 minutes for the pupils to become fully dilated, and the effect lasts for about 4-6 hours. During this time, your eyes will be more sensitive to light and your vision may be a bit blurry. For this reason, you’ll need someone to drive you home afterwards.
Amsler Grid Test
The Amsler Grid Test is a non-invasive test that helps us identify any retinal diseases or conditions that may affect the quality of your vision. The test involves a basic black grid on a white background with a black dot in the middle. If your macula is damaged, the lines will appear distorted, wavy, or broken. You can also use this test in your own home to monitor any changes to your vision and stay one step ahead of vision loss.
Optical Coherence Tomography (OCT)
The Optical Coherence Tomography (OCT) test involves taking high-resolution images of your retina using light waves. These images allow us to measure the thickness of your retina, as well as closely observe its multiple layers. In doing so, we can diagnose and monitor a variety of retinal conditions including macular degeneration, macular puckers/epiretinal membranes, and macular edema, as well as diabetic retinopathy. The test only takes a few minutes, and we have your results right away.
Fluorescein Angiography is an imaging process that uses a special, light-sensitive dye called fluorescein to give us a highly detailed look into your retina. The dye is injected into your arm or hand and reaches the blood vessels in your eyes in a few seconds.
While you look at different targets, we examine your eye using a variety of light filters, capturing images and videos of your retinal vascular system. From there, we can immediately identify any circulation problems, swelling, leaking, or abnormal blood vessels that may lead to vision loss or other retinal health complications.
Indocyanine Green Angiography
Similar to Fluorescein, Indocyanine Green is a non-radioactive dye injected into your bloodstream to help us better examine your retina. However, it differs from fluorescein because it allows us to see even deeper into the details of your retina, optic nerve, and retinal blood vessels, – as well as the periphery of your retina.
Indocyanine Green Angiography can also be used to guide and monitor any laser surgery you require for your retinal health. Some patients experience side effects such as a itchy skin, dark urine, or difficulty breathing, but these are rare and temporary. Also, Indocyanine Green contains iodine, so let your doctor know if you’re allergic.
If we find that the view inside your eye is limited, we may use an ocular ultrasound to better assess masses or abnormalities in your retina. It’s a simple procedure that uses high-frequency sound waves instead of light to produce the imaging.
Autofluorescence Photography is an imaging technique that, unlike the previously mentioned angiographies, does not use any dye whatsoever. Rather, we illuminate your retina with blue light to capture a high-resolution, panoramic image of your retina, optic nerve, retinal blood vessels, and outer edges of the retina.
Schedule a Retinal Diagnostic & Testing Exam in Any of Our Colorado Locations
We want your eyes to be as healthy as they possibly can be. Our retinal specialists are here to help and answer any questions you might have. Schedule an appointment today.