Digital Imaging- Sounds great but what actually is it?

We include a “retinal digital image” with every one of our eye exams. That sounds great but what does that actually mean? To capture this retinal imaging, we use the Topcon Maestro which takes two important, different tests and combines into one convenient machine. 

In one simple capture process, the Maestro takes a retinal photo and an OCT scan. The retinal photo is pretty much what you would think it is. Its just like if someone took a picture of you with their camera except that our camera is focused on the retina. This is great because we get a very clear picture of the different structures in the back of your eye like your optic nerve, retinal blood vessels and macula, which all play key roles in healthy vision. This photo image gets saved in your record so we can compare year to year to make sure everything is staying healthy in your eyes and so that we’ll be able to easily detect any subtle changes. 

The second function of the Maestro is a little trickier to understand. It essentially is taking something similar to an ultra sound that allows us to see the all layers of the retina, from the very top surface (which we can see with the photo) to the very bottom layers, which are not viewable with the human eye. Diabetic patients have leaky blood vessels and small pockets of fluid may accumulate in the retina and the OCT scan will detect these abnormalities with ease. The scan actually images the hidden layers under the retina as well, where the early signs of macular degeneration can show up among other conditions. 

OCT image of Macular Degeneration - The bumps are deposits underneath the retina called “drusen”.

OCT image of Macular Degeneration - The bumps are deposits underneath the retina called “drusen”.

As you can tell there is a lot of value added to your exam with our digital imaging. Where some office may charge you extra to opt into such testing, we believe this is too valuable to be optional. That’s why at Cornerstone Eye Care we include this for every patient, every exam at no extra charge. 

As always if you have any questions about our “digital imaging” or any part of our practice my wife and I are always available. Please reach out at our email address at 

Justin Landolfi