Digital retinal photographs are pictures of the inside of your eye taken by a special digital retinal camera. The photographs are used by the doctor to monitor and identify any changes in the health of your retina and the optic nerve. The retina and optic nerve need to be healthy in order for you to see clearly.
Many systemic diseases can affect the retina, including: diabetes, hypertension, arteriosclerosis, high cholesterol, and AIDS. The photographs show the macula, the part of the retina that is responsible for your detailed, sharp vision. We can monitor macular degeneration and other diseases of the macula with these photographs. The pictures also show the optic nerve, which carries all of the information from your eye to your brain. Damage to the optic nerve can cause glaucoma and loss of sight.
Retinal photographs are important for documenting retinal problems as well as for monitoring your retinal and optic nerve health. Baseline retinal photos can help the doctor to determine if any changes have occurred in your eye health when you have your comprehensive eye examinations.