Understanding Laser Retina Scan Imaging

If you have a major risk factor for a retina issue like a detachment or degeneration condition, then you should seek out an eye exam at least once a year with your ophthalmologist. The professional may suggest the completion of a laser retina scan. This scan is something that should happen in addition to your regular exam, so keep reading to learn a little more about it.

Why Is The Laser Retina Scan Important?

The retina is extremely important when it comes to your vision. This part of the eye covers the inside of the eyeball towards the back where the optic nerve connects to the eye. The retina is what converts light into signals that are transmitted to the brain in the way of image information. The cells that make up the retina are extremely sensitive and vision loss can develop once the cells start to die. These cells do not grow back, so it is important for you and your eye doctor to work together to detect retina problems as soon as possible. 

A laser retina scan can and will detect retina abnormalities, including cell damage and the start or degradation. The scan does this by mapping the retina and creating digital images of the tissue. This mapping is sometimes referred to as Otomap.

Are There Limitations To The Test?

You should know that mapping and laser imaging does have some limitations when it comes to the eyes. Specifically, the entire retina cannot be mapped. While the laser test is completed through the dilated pupil, a sliver of the retina edge cannot be viewed by the laser, and this means that any damage that occurs at the very edge of the retina may not be detected right away. However, you are likely to have some symptoms when tears or holes form on the outer edges of the retina. For example, you may start to see floaters or small and dark spots in your visual field. 

If the laser image mapping does not produce images that assist with locating tissue damage, then your physician may order an angiography test or an ultrasound scan. Tomography image may be completed and you may also need to have certain images taken of the retina over a period of time so that tissue damage can be identified. 

Since a variety of tests need to be completed in conjunction with one another for your eye doctor to get the whole picture when it comes to retina damage, do not be surprised if you need to make numerous appointments for the different types of tests.