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Optomap Ultra-wide Digital Retinal Scan

We believe in investing in the most advanced technology in order to offer the most comprehensive eye examination we can. The optomap® ultra-wide digital retinal scan from Optos plc allows us to image areas of the retina we cannot normally see using conventional methods.


The Retina

The retina is the delicate lining at the back of the eye, similar to film in a camera.  It collects light and uses this to create a picture of the world around us. This information is then sent to the brain which processes the information, allowing us to see.


What the Retina is for

The retina is extremely important; an unhealthy retina cannot send clear signals and this can impair vision.  You don’t always experience symptoms if something is wrong, especially in the early stages. The sooner something is picked up and treated, the better the outcome.

As well as eye conditions, general diseases can also be picked up by examining the retina. This is the only part of the body where the blood vessels can be seen directly, meaning that signs of hypertension, diabetes and stroke risks can be picked up.

Examining the Retina

The pupil of the eye is actually a hole in the eye.  By looking through it, we can see the retina lining the back of the eye. Traditional methods of viewing the retina are effective, but only allow us to view a small area of the retina at a time. The Optometrist records notes detailing what areas of the retina look like, but there can often be variations between Optometrists regarding the size, severity etc of conditions or areas of concern.

Using the Optomap®

The optomap® ultra-wide digital retinal scan captures more than 80% of the retina in one image.  Traditional methods reveal only 10-12% of the retina at one time, and even retinal photography will only reveal 15%.

This allows us to view areas of the retina we’ve never been able to see before. As such, we can pick up problems earlier, before they become a problem and before they start to affect the vision. In addition, it means that there is a digital record of your eyes which can be compared for changes over time.

Optomap Optomap

Who Should Have the Optomap®

We recommend the optomap® ultra-wide digital retinal scan to everyone, as it is the only method by which we can truly check the health of the retina. It is generally recommended every time you have an eye examination, but your Optometrist will advise you based on your own individual circumstances. It is also recommended for children as many eye problems start at an early age.

What to Expect

An optomap® scan takes only seconds to perform and is not painful. You will look into the optomap® system and will see a flash when the scan is taken, similar to a camera flash. It typically does not require dilation of the pupils (when the pupils are enlarged using drops), although this may still be required depending on individual circumstances. Your Optometrist will be able to view the scan immediately, so will be able to discuss the results with you on the day.


Our comprehensive eye examination fee includes the cost of the optomap®, so if you are a private patient with us, you will automatically receive this scan at your appointment.

If you are entitled to an NHS eye examination and would like to have the optomap® scan, the contribution from the NHS is deducted from our comprehensive eye examination fee.

If you have any further queries please do not hesitate to contact our Cirencester practice.

Healthy retina. The optic disc is the top of the optic nerve, which connects the eye to the brain. The macula is the most sensitive part of the eye, and allows to see things in fine detail.
Peripheral hole with the beginnings of a retinal detachment. This is too far out in the periphery to be seen with our standard equipment.

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