What to Expect
A retinal exam is not much different than any other eye exam. You can expect:
- You will be asked about your medical history and any visual problems or symptoms you may be experiencing. You will also be asked about your vision (how clearly you can see).
- We will next measure your eye pressure and dilate both of your eyes to enlarge your pupils. This is necessary so that the doctor can do a complete exam.
- Next, we will take you to a room where photographs will be taken of the back of your eyes and then you will be brought to a darkened waiting room where you will wait for your eyes to further dilate. Once dilated, you will be called in to the exam room where you will see the doctor.
- You will receive a retinal examination which allows your doctor to evaluate the back of your eyes, including your retina, optic disk and underlying layer of blood vessels that nourish the retina. He/she does this by shining a beam of light through a special lens into your eyes. This light allows your doctor to see a more detailed view of the back of your eyes.
- If you come in to the office with a problem (e.g., a retinal tear or a retinal detachment), then the doctor will use an indirect ophthalmoscope, which is mounted on the doctor’s forehead. This condensing lens and bright light will allow your doctor to see the retina and other structures in greater detail and in three dimensions.
- At the end of your exam, your doctor will discuss his/her findings with you and answer any questions you may have.
The retinal exam itself usually takes about 10 minutes, but you will be in our office for 1-2 hours and possibly a bit longer if you are a new patient or have a problem.