6 Situations in Which a Doctor Will Suggest a Digital Retinal Imaging Exam

Staying healthy can be a painful process. Just about every preventive procedure will have you drinking horrible fluids, going without food and water, or suffering from side effects. What if you were told there was a painless procedure that could potentially save your life and does not require any prep? There is, and it is a digital retinal imaging exam, often referred to as a DRI. This quick test is usually offered by your optometrist during a routine visit and is suggested for the following situations:

Age-related Macular Degeneration

This common eye condition is the leading cause of vision loss among people 50 and older. In some people, age-related macular degeneration develops slowly, while in others it progresses at a faster rate leading to a loss of vision in one or both eyes. Although this disease does not lead to complete blindness, it can interfere with daily activities including driving, reading, and writing. A digital retinal imaging exam can diagnose this disease and mark its progression.


Another disorder digital retinal imaging can identify is Glaucoma, which causes damage to the optic nerve in your eye. It will progress and get worse over time. Research indicates Glaucoma is inherited and may not appear until later in life. Often associated with a buildup of pressure, Glaucoma can eventually lead to permanent blindness.

Diabetic Retinopathy

Resulting from diabetes, this disease causes changes in retinal blood vessels such as swelling and leakage. Without early detection diabetic retinopathy cause complete loss of vision. If you are diabetic it is recommended you talk with your eye doctor about a digital retinal imaging exam.

Retinal Detachment

Retinal Detachment is considered an emergency situation that results from your retina tearing away from the surrounding tissue. Warnings signs include sudden appearance of floaters, flashes and reduced vision. Don’t wait until this happens, a discussion with your optometrist about the need for a DRI will help you understand the risks for its occurrence.

High Blood Pressure (Hypertension)

A digital retinal imaging exam is useful in diagnosing other illnesses and conditions beyond those connected to vision. One of the diseases is high blood pressure which can cause heart disease or stroke. Research has discovered that indicators are often noted in the eye before other signs appear.


Although this may surprise you, a digital retinal imaging exam has been shown as an effective method for recognizing a melanoma. Showing up as a dark spot at the back of the eye, it is treatable. However, untreated, melanoma can travel through your bloodstream, spreading the disease.

With today’s technology, you may find many websites offering an online eye exam. Be wary, as this practice, unfortunately, is not sufficient in diagnosing any of the above conditions and should not be considered a replacement for visiting your optometrist.Even if you or a loved does not currently suffer from any of these conditions, it is essential you discuss the potential for them and how a DRI may be of benefit for your eyesight and overall health. Because your vision health is essential, you should consider scheduling an eye appointment with our professional staff at ReVision Optometry. We are prepared to assist you with all of your vision needs.