One of the most crucial parts of an annual eye exam is examining the retina (the tissue in the back of the eye) and the optic nerve for abnormalities. The retina is the only place in the body that allows doctors to non-invasively visualize blood vessels, which aids in detecting and monitoring diseases such as diabetes, hypertension, heart disease and risk of stroke. In addition to these vascular findings, retinal and optic nerve evaluation can also help in diagnosing conditions such as brain tumors, MS, lupus, and even cancer.
Most ocular conditions that can cause permanent vision loss are only able to be detected with afull retinal examination. Retinal detachments, glaucoma, macular degeneration, ocular melanoma and findings related to the systemic conditions listed above can all be discovered during a retinal exam even before any symptoms arise.
*Featured image from Optomap
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