Specsavers Saves Lives with Digital Retinal Photography

by Georgina Shaw

DIGITAL Retinal Photography is becoming an increasingly valued part of the eye examinations carried out by optometrists. Far more than just testing your sight, optometrists can in fact make a comprehensive health assessment by using retinal photography alongside more conventional procedures and it is saving lives around the world.

This sophisticated process uses a camera to take a picture of the back of the eye – the only part of the human body where the microcirculation of blood can be observed directly. The state-of-the-art technology assists in the detection and management of problems such as diabetic changes, hypertensive retinopathy, macular degeneration, optic nerve disease and retinal holes or thinning. The ability to save images creates a lasting record for on-going monitoring.

Specsavers Opticas is committed to offering a top quality eye test which includes a professional visual health check as standard. To enhance their eye test even further they are rolling out the digital retinal photography technology across all their stores. The use of this potentially life-saving machine will be included as part of every eye test without additional cost, something which is highly unusual in Spain.

In addition to helping opticians identify sight-related problems, digital retinal photography can also highlight a range of other conditions, including diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, risk of a stroke and symptoms associated with brain tumours.

Leighton Griffiths from Specsavers in Marbella explains why investing in this technology is so important; “It is our responsibility as optometrists to use our skills, training and the latest equipment to not only fit our clients for glasses, but ensure their eyes are healthy. Digital Retinal Photography is an important step forward in identifying and treating causes of avoidable blindness and diagnosing potentially life-threatening conditions which is why we are rolling out the technology throughout our stores and we believe this should be a commitment that all opticians should make.”

A routine eye examination at Specsavers in Kings Lynn, UK, saved young woman Francesca Lane's life after the store's digital retinal camera detected signs that the 22-year-old had a brain tumour. Francesca went for an eye test after she experienced strong headaches, blurred vision and black outs. Whilst looking at the back of her eye the digital retinal camera revealed a mass which the optometrist suspected was a brain tumour, so Francesca was immediately referred to hospital for an operation to remove it. The tumour was so large that it covered most of the left side of her brain and the surgeon said that had this not been identified the tumour would have been fatal within two weeks. Thanks to the eye test she is now recovering well and encouraging everyone to make sure they have their eyes tested regularly.

There are two Specsavers Opticas on the Costa del Sol, in Marbella and Fuengirola. To find your nearest store and book your free eye test with digital retinal photography visit www.specsavers.es.

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