Going for an eye test should be something every person turns into a regular occurrence, much like a trip to the dentist or a periodical health check. As well as making sure that you’re able to see clearly, with or without the assistance of glasses, eye tests can diagnose many different conditions, with medical professionals believing it could be used to predict whether patients would be susceptible to Alzheimer’s disease. Doctors believe that by using a fundus camera, or more specifically, retinal photography, they will soon be able to check and predict a variety of different health problems.

A fundus camera, or retina camera, is a device that allows doctors to take images of the retina inside your eye. This allows them to see whether patients are suffering from a number of health issues, as well as those caused by a pre-existing condition, such as diabetes.

Fundus cameras can be used to diagnose a variety of different ocular ailments, but it’s most commonly used by opticians to diagnose whether patients are suffering from retinopathy, this is particularly for people who are suffering from diabetes, as they are most at risk to be unknowingly suffering from it.

Diabetic retinopathy affects the small blood vessels in your eye. Over time blood can leak from these vessels, and cause blurred vision. But in some cases areas of vision can be blocked due to the excess blood. This blood can sometimes go away after a few hours, but there is the risk that it can take months or even years to clear. If gone undiagnosed, diabetic retinopathy could lead to severe blindness, in such a way that the person can only tell the difference between night and day.

Retinal photography examinations are quite a simple procedure to carry out. One warning the NHS and opticians do provide is that you do not drive to and from your appointment, as one of the pre-test procedures involves dilating your pupils. This means that for a short amount of time, your vision may become blurred. But this helps doctors carry out the procedure because they have access to view a bigger area of your retina. The camera will then take a picture of your retina as bright flash of light is directed into your eye.

Most high street opticians now have this technology installed in their stores, but the NHS is also rolling out a nationwide scheme to get people in at risk areas screened to make sure that preventative steps are taken to avoid retinopathy and help them check whether they are suffering from it or not. At the moment, this covers people suffering from diabetes as well as those who are pregnant. Your doctor may also recommend that it may be recommended to carry out the examination to make sure you aren’t suffering from retinopathy.