Digital Retinal Imaging

Optometric equipment changes over time and we believe its important to look at how new technologies can improve the eye health of our patients. One key innovation that we have adopted is Digital Retinal Imagining which offers a superior view of the eye. This means that some problems that may be missed in a normal optometric consultation can now be identified.

DRI is an advanced technology that produces an image of the rear part of your eye. A digital image is produced of the retina, macula, optic nerve and retinal blood vessels to give us a very close picture of your eye and allow us to asses eye health. Retinal imaging can be used to asses your eye health showing evidence of glaucoma, macular degeneration and other eye diseases. It can also detect diabetes and melanoma.

Fundamentally, the equipment consists of a high quality digital camera attached to a powerful microscope. The camera can see through the pupil to focus on the back of your eye producing the image. The technology allows immediate examination of results but the other main use of the technology is to get a baseline reading of your eye. Everyone’s retina is different, having a high quality photo as a reference can help us notice any changes in your eye help us identify any problems early when treatment is most effective.

Living in a Digital World

The human eye evolved under very different circumstances than those we live in today. Most people use their eyes for a vast number of close tasks every day: reading, close work and ever increasingly, tablets, televisions, computers and smartphones.

Many people are not aware that these screens are back-illuminated, that is, they emit light. Furthermore, this light is different in composition to natural or even artificial light, in particular the percentage of blue light is much higher. While blue light is part of the natural spectrum computer and TV screens are a powerful source. Excessive exposed to blue light can cause red and irritated eyes, headaches and fatigue.

Light is also an important signal your body uses to regulate its natural sleep cycle. The light spectrum from the sun changes throughout the day naturally and your body uses this to regulate its rhythm and to wind down your body to rest at night. Concentrated blue light, especially in the late evening (for example, caused by working late or watching TV just before you sleep) can confuse your body producing sleeplessness. Your eyes send signals to your body that it is daytime, waking you up!

It’s difficult to change your lifestyle and it seems like digital screens may become more and more part of our lives. But if you have to use computers a lot in your life and you already wear spectacles, you might consider some of the new lens coatings available. These coatings have two important effects. They neutralise blue light proving more comfortable vision as well as more natural colour perception when you are using digital devices.