What is retinal photography?

Retinal photography, or fundus photography, is a process that optometrists and ophthalmologists use to take detailed pictures of the back of your eye (the ocular fundus).

This sophisticated tool allows eye care professionals to examine your eye health more closely and spot any problems that would otherwise be impossible to notice.

Retinal photography works by taking high-resolution digital photos of the inside of your eye. This imaging system captures a detailed record of the inner, light-sensitive layer of the eye called the retina.

Eye health professionals can use images like the one show above to observe the blood vessels going in and out of the retina, and draw important conclusions about the state of health of your eyes.

Retinal photography can help eye experts detect and manage conditions like:

  • Macular degeneration
  • Hypertensive retinopathy nerve disease
  • Diabetic retinopathy
  • Retinal holes or thinning

The health benefits of retinal photography aren't limited to eye-related diseases only. Eye doctors can also make use of the images they take to diagnose many health problems that manifest as changes inside your eyes.

These include a variety of conditions such as:

  • Diabetes
  • High blood pressure
  • High cholesterol levels
  • Risk of a stroke
  • Signs related to the presence of brain tumours

Retinal photography has become an essential part of an eye exam, particularly for people over 40, who are at increased risk of developing the conditions listed previously.

It is especially advisable for people who have a history of high blood pressure, diabetes, headaches, retinal diseases, vision symptoms like flashing lights, or strong eyeglass prescriptions.

This form of eye screening is simple, quick and painless.

Even people in good health are strongly recommended to have retinal photography included in an eye examination, since it provides eye health professionals with a good reference point for future comparisons.