Early Detection Technology

Early detection when examining your eyes reduces your risk for glaucoma, diabetes, tumors, or strokes. At Eye Society, we use both Retinal Imaging and Optical Coherence Tomography for early detection. These technologies are like an x-ray and MRI for the eye!

Retinal imaging scans the tissue on the surface of your retina, helping us see signs of heart disease or hypertension.

Optical Coherence Tomography analyzes beneath the surface, looking at structures like the optic nerve and macula. These are critical in detecting signs of glaucoma or macular degeneration.

Learn about Early Detection Technology at Eye Society in Chicago

Why use technology for early detection?

Your retina (located in the back of your eye) is the only place in the body where blood vessels can be seen directly.

This means that in addition to eye conditions, signs of other diseases (for example, stroke, heart disease, hypertension and diabetes) can also be seen in the retina.

Early signs of these conditions can show on your retina long before you notice any changes to your vision or feel pain.

While eye exams generally include a look at the front of the eye to evaluate health and prescription changes, a thorough screening of the retina is critical to verify that your eye is healthy.

How does an optomap ultra-widefield retinal image work?

Getting an optomap image is fast, painless and comfortable. Nothing touches your eye at any time. It is suitable for the whole family.

To have the exam, you simply look into the device one eye at a time (like looking through a keyhole) and you will see a comfortable flash of light to let you know the image of your retina has been taken.

Male doctor showing woman OCT scan results

Under normal circumstances, dilation drops might not be necessary, but your eye care practitioner will decide if your pupils need to be dilated depending on the health of your eyes. 

The image capture takes less than a half second and they are available immediately for you to see your own retina.  You see exactly what your eye care practitioner sees – even in a 3D animation.

Optomap imaging example
Optomap Image Example

Early signs of disease can be present in the periphery of your retina and remain undetected for a long time.

By using the optomap ultra-widefield retinal image, it captures more than 80% of your retina in a single image while traditional imaging methods typically only show 15% of your retina at one time.

chart comparing optomap vs non optomap

Frequently Asked Questions about Retinal Imaging

Why is a retinal exam so important?

Some of the first signs of diseases such as stroke, diabetes and even some cancers can be seen in your retina, often before you have other symptoms.  An optomap makes it easier to see them.

What is an optomap?

The optomap is a digital image of the retina produced by Optos scanning laser technology.  It is the only technology that can capture 82% view of your retina at one time.

How will optomap benefit me?

The ultra-widefield optomap may help your eye doctor detect problems more quickly and easily.  Unlike traditional retinal exams, the optomap image can be saved for future comparisons.

Are there any side effects?

optomap images are created by non-invasive, low-intensity scanning lasers.  No adverse health effects have been reported in over 65 million sessions.

Is an optomap safe for children?

Yes.  In fact, many vision problems begin in early childhood, so it’s important for children to receive quality routine eye care.

Does it hurt?

No. The optomap exam completely comfortable and the scan takes less than a second.

How often should I have an optomap?

This is a decision that should be made by your doctor.  However, it is generally recommended that you have an optomap each time you have an eye exam.

What about more difficult to detect eye diseases?

Optical Coherence Tomography is used to analyze tissue beneath the surface, and is like an MRI for the eye.

With OCT, we can detect:


glaucoma vision example

Often called the “silent thief of sight,” it affects peripheral vision without warning. You can learn more about Glaucoma here.

Diabetic Retinopathy

Diabetic Retinopathy vision example

It is estimated that one-third of adults with diabetes are affected by this disease, which may cause blind spots and /or floaters.

Macular Degeneration

macular degeneration vision example

A rapidly progressing eye disease that often goes undetected, it is a leading cause of central vision loss in people over 60.

How does Optical Coherence Tomography (OCT) work?

By analyzing the tissue beneath the surface , OCT is an assessment beyond conventional eye exams. 

Eye diseases like glaucoma, macular degeneration, and diabetic retinopathy are able to be detected using the technology. 

An OCT scan enables an in-depth assessment of the retina to detect warning signs before they affect vision. 

Similar to an ultrasound or MRI examination, an OCT scan is a quick, easy, and comfortable experience. Images are available for review in less than a minute. 

OCT scan description

Structures in the back of the eye like the retina, macula, and optic nerve head play a vital role in keeping eyes healthy.

An OCT scan allows your doctor to look below the surface to detect signs of potentially serious eye diseases early – and determine the best course of care for you.

OCT scan exmaples
OCT scan examples

Schedule an Appointment

If you are a Chicago resident and have any of these symptoms or suspect that you may be suffering from one of the mentioned conditions, you need to see our optometrists in Chicago immediately.

Contact Eye Society at (312) 640-2405 (Streeterville) or (312) 631-3247 (Loop) to find out how our eye doctors can further assist you or to make an appointment. 

Rating: 5 out of 5.

“they have all the best technology”

I love going to Eye Society because they have all the best technology for an easy exam, are incredibly helpful with any and all my questions and curiosities about my eyes, the technology, and contact lens types. The doctor is incredibly helpful and knowledgeable, taking time to explain the process and how my eye health is really doing and what to watch out for as I have a high prescription.

Julia B, eye society long-term patient

– Julia B, Long-term Patient