What to expect at your first retina appointment?


If you are seeing a
retinal specialist for the first time, you may not know what to expect. The best way to get the most out of your retinal consultation is to come prepared. A retina specialist specialises in the treatment of conditions and diseases affecting the retina. Some of the common diseases treated by a retina specialist are:

  • Age-related Macular Degeneration (AMD)
  • Diabetic retinopathy
  • Retinal detachment
  • Macular hole/pucker

As a leading eye hospital in West Bengal, we share with you useful insights on what you can expect at your first retina appointment:

1. A retina exam is more extensive than a routine eye exam: 

A retinal eye exam is more comprehensive than a routine eye exam.  Your initial appointment with a retina specialist may take anywhere from 2-4 hours, depending on the diagnostic tests recommended.

2. Questions you will be asked 

Just like any other eye exam, you will be asked about:

  •  Medical history 
  •  Symptoms you are experiencing
  • Any medications that you are taking

    3. Tests that are done before the appointment: 

Some of the common tests that will be done include: 

  • Pupil dilation test: This test is performed to make the pupils large so that the retinal specialist can examine the optic nerve and retina. 

While your eyes are dilated, the retinal specialist may order specialised tests such as: 

  • Optical Coherence Tomography or OCT
  • Fluorescein Angiography
  • Fundus Photography
  • Fundus Autofluorescence Imaging

    4. What to bring to your appointment with a retina specialist:

When you visit a retina specialist for an appointment, it is important to bring along  important documents. 

  • If you have had any major surgery, bring the discharge summary and other hospital documents.
  • It is also helpful to bring documents that has information about your family’s medical history.
  • In addition, be sure to bring along the name and contact information of the referring doctor, as well as the reason for referral.
  • Bring a complete list of all medications you are currently taking.

    5. How to prepare for a retinal eye exam? 

Here are a few things you can do to prepare for a retinal exam: 

  • It’s important to bring your glasses or contact lenses with you to your eye doctor appointment. This will help the retina specialist get an accurate measure of your prescription.
  • After pupil dilation, you will not be able to drive back home as your vision will be blurry.  Have someone to drive you home.
  • Bring along a pair of sunglasses to protect your eyes from glare when you are heading back home.

    6. What will happen during the exam? 

By shining a light into your eye, the retina specialist can get a clear view of the back of the eye. This allows your retina specialist to look for any signs of damage or disease. The retina specialist uses one or more of these techniques for viewing your eye condition:

  • Direct examination: The direct examination is performed with an ophthalmoscope, which allows the doctor to shine a beam of light through the pupil to get a clear view of the back of the eye.
  • Indirect examination: The indirect examination, also known as indirect ophthalmoscopy, uses a condensing lens and a bright light to provide a more detailed look at the retina and other structures inside the eye.
  • Slit-lamp exam: A slit-lamp exam is often performed to get an even closer look at the back of the eye. This exam uses a special lens and a beam of light to provide a clear, three-dimensional view of the eye. 

Note: Usually, the retinal exam takes about 10 minutes, but you will be in the eye hospital for hours. It is because pupil dilation needs some time.

Looking for a retina specialist? 

If you live in West Bengal and are looking for a “retina specialist near me” online, visit Disha Eye Hospitals. We have some of the best retina specialists who can help you choose the right treatment option. Call us to book an appointment at the nearest branch.