Fundus photography eye test involves capturing a photograph of the back of the eye i.e. fundus or the retina, all the retina blood vessels, and the optic nerve. The fundus eye test is frequently used to document the retina condition. This is also called the colour fundus photograph and forms an important step in treating diseases of the retina.
A fundus eye test and retina pictures are not standalone investigations. Fundus photography is one of the ways to perform retinal imaging. There are a few others too like OCT and Fundus fluorescein angiography.
At the outset, the patient has to undergo a general eye examination. Here instruments like the slit lamp and applanation tonometer are used. After dilating the pupil an indirect ophthalmoscope is also used by your eye doctor or retina specialist to examine your retina. The retina is also knosn as the fundus. Once the fundus examination is done a decision is taken when fundus picture is needed or not.
Fundus cameras that consist of a microscope attached to a flash-enabled camera are used in fundus eye tests. The main structures that can be visualized on a fundus photo are the central and peripheral retina, optic disc or optic nerve head and macula or posterior pole. Fundus photography can be performed with colored filters, or with specialized dyes including fluorescein and indocyanine green.
Fundus photography is done after a fundus examination. It is used to inspect anomalies that affect the eyes and blood vessels of the retina and to monitor the progression of these diseases. It is vital for disease processes such as macular degeneration, retinal neoplasms, choroid disturbances and diabetic eye disease, and associated macular edema. Additionally, it aids in identifying glaucoma, multiple sclerosis, and other central nervous system abnormalities.
It evaluates irregularities in the fundus and monitors the progression of a disease. This fundus eye test also informs both patients and eye doctors about the management and treatment outcome. They are crucial to create a starting point or baseline to better understand a disease’s progression. Fundus photographs may be useful if there is a new disease affecting the fundus and for the planning of additional treatment options.
It is important that your eye doctor or retina specialist records these photos and others in an orderly fashion so that they are able to compare photographs of a patient from different timelines.
FFA or Fundus Fluorescein Angiography is a procedure that comprises injecting a dye, FLUORESCEIN, into one of your veins in the arm. After this injection, fundus photos are taken of the dye’s passage within the inner structures of the eye – the retina and choroid.
After a routine dilated eye examination the doctor may advise you to get this test done. There are many kinds of fundus cameras available in the market. The one we have fits on the slit lamp stand itself so patient does not have to get up from his or her seat. The camera is bought into position. The patient positions his or her chin on the chin rest with the forehead all the way in the front till it rests against the haed band. The camera is focussed onto the retina and as you can see in the video below the picture of the retina is captured. While focussing, the camera will come very close to the surface of the eye but not touch the eye. You can see from the picture below that we can see the optic nerve, the retina and the retinal blood vesseles. The picture that you see above is that of a normal looking retina.
As mentioned earlier this picture is immediately attached to the patients records so that we can view it anytime in the future.