In some cases you may not have a specific diagnosis but you have unexplained visual changes that may prompt a referral to a retina specialist. Your eyes will be dilated so the retina specialist can get a complete view of your retina through your pupil. Your appointment with a retina specialist may involve various tests that are usually done on the same day of your appointment, such as:
“OCT” (Optical Coherence Tomography) is a valuable noninvasive test that can be performed on the same day of your appointment. Using a light source to create a cross-section image of the retina, the shape and overall thickness of the retina can be determined. This technology allows for the detection of retinal fluid and also measures the response to treatments for various retinal conditions. The test can be completed within minutes and does not use any radiation.
“IVFA” (Intravenous Fluorescein Angiography) provides a detailed analysis of the blood flow of the retina and choroid. It uses a vegetable-based dye, unlike the iodine dye used for CT scans, and a camera to photograph the dye in the vessels in the back of the eye. The Optomap FA system used at Matossian Eye Associates allows for ultra-widefield high definition angiography which can visualize approximately 80% of the retina in one view.
Deterioration or damage to the eyes can sometimes occur at the microscopic level. To detect such abnormalities, eye doctors use a procedure known as Fundus Photography. Fundus Photography involves using high powered lenses to capture pictures of the back of the eye. The doctor then reviews the images taken, and assesses the eye’s overall health. This becomes the basis of further tests, designed to monitor any changes in the eye. Because some vision problems gradually develop over long periods of time, early detection and monitoring can help your eye doctor make important decisions about your vision. Fundus Photography is one of the best methods of recording and tracking such progressive diseases of the eye.
FA – Fluorescein Angiography
Fluorescein Angiography is a frequently used test that provides valuable information about the eyes’ circulatory system, and many conditions that may occur within the back of the eye. Fluorescein Angiography begins by injecting a special dye into the arm. Within a few seconds, the dye travels through the circulatory system, and into the eye through the retinal vessels, and into a deeper layer called the choroid. A specially equipped camera then captures a series of photographs of the dye as it circulates though the retina and choroid. These photographs can reveal to the doctor signs of circulation problems, swelling, leakage, or abnormal blood vessel formation. This information allows the doctor to make a more accurate diagnosis, and help determine the exact area to be treated for conditions like macular degeneration, and diabetic retinopathy. The dye is considered safe, and serious side effects from the dye are rare.