Specialized fundus cameras (also known as retina imaging cameras) consist of an intricate microscope attached to a flash enabled camera used to examine the central and peripheral retina, optic disc and macula.
Fundus photography involves photographing the rear of an eye, also known as the fundus by taking a series of photographs through the pupil to record color images of the condition of the interior surface of the eye in order to document the presence of disorders and monitor their change over time.
You eye care specialist may recommend fundus photography in order to detect, follow, and treat a wide variety of optical conditions and diseases of the eye, including eye cancer. These disorders include:
- Glaucoma (increased pressure in the eye can damage the eye nerve over time)
- Diabetic retinopathy (eye complication in people with diabetes)
- Macular edema (swelling of the central part of the interior surface of your eye)
- Microaneurysms (dilatation of the small vessels inside your eye)
- Hypertensive retinopathy (eye complication in people with high blood pressure)
- White or cotton wool spots on the nerve fibers inside your eye
- Age-related macular degeneration (deterioration of the central part of the interior surface of your eye due to age)
- Optic atrophy (eye nerve damage)
- Papilledema (swelling of the eye nerve)
- Cancer of the eye
- Retinoblastoma (tumor inside your eye)
- Color vision deficiencies
- Congenital glaucoma (high pressure inside the eyeball since birth)
- Congenital rubella (contagious viral infection of the eyes since birth)
- Congenital anomalies (defect in the eyes since birth)
- Toxoplasmosis (parasitic infection of the eyes)
What to expect during fundus photography
Before the procedure, your eye doctor may administer an eye drop to increase the size of the pupil. This allows your doctor to better examine the interior surface of your eye.
During the procedure, your doctor will instruct you to sit in front of the fundus camera with your chin on a chin rest (an attachment) and your forehead against the bar. Your doctor will then focus and align the fundus camera on the pupil (the black center of your eye). As soon as the doctor presses the shutter release, flash fires that create a photograph of the interior surface of your eye.
Benefits of fundus photography
The benefits of fundus photography as a diagnostic tool are many:
- It is a non-invasive procedure and only takes a minute or two.
- It is easier to visualize the details of the retina (the interior surface of the eye) in stereoscopic fundus photographs rather than examining your eye directly.
- It provides a bird’s eye view of entire layers on the retina (the interior surface of the eye) and allows your doctor to provide the most accurate diagnosis.
- Many times, certain internal eye landmarks are more visible in fundus photography than other eye examinations, for example, fluorescein angiography (an eye examination in which a fluorescent dye is injected inside your eye).
- Serial photographs of the internal structure of your eye may allow your doctor to study the delicate changes in the eye nerve, and they can recommend the appropriate therapy to you.
- It allows early and accurate diagnosis, especially changes in the eye of patients with diabetes and blood pressure, which are essential for timely treatment and improvement in the patient’s outcome.
- You get pictures of the current appearance of the retina (the interior surface of your eye) that is more worthy sometimes than the physician’s notes.
The NIDEK AFC-330 Retina Imaging Camera
The technology of fundus photography is continually evolving. Because the equipment is sophisticated and challenging to manufacture to clinical standards, only a few manufacturers and brands exist. At Hillmoor Optical, we did our research carefully and selected the NIDEK AFC-330 All-in-One Advanced Automated Fundus Camera. A leader in retina imaging, The AFC-330 features an integrated CCD camera and microcomputer in one compact unit without requiring an external camera and PC. The built-in 12-megapixel CCD camera offers high quality fundus images and the microcomputer enables easy data management. Images that are captured and associated with patient data are saved, transferred, and managed with a USB memory or an external PC connected to the NAVIS-EX network. In addition, NIDEK AFC-330 offers these outstanding features:
- The anterior eye monitor inset in the fundus observation screen allows an operator to constantly verify alignment.
- The focus split indicator shows the amount of focus deviation in the fundus observation screen, which helps an operator to manually focus on the fundus.
- The AFC-330 navigates stereo and panorama photography with target marks displayed on observation screen, which enables an operator to easily capture stereo images and an image series.
At Hillmoor Optical, we are committed to providing the most thorough eye exam possible performed by highly skilled optometrists incorporating the latest technology. To schedule an appointment, call 772-337-6377 or go to our Contact page. Click here to download the exam forms. Click here to meet our optical team. Regular comprehensive eye exams can save your vision, and in rare cases, save your life.
Sources: Nidek Inc., University of British Columbia, MedicineNet
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