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What Is the Optomap Machine at Emerald Coast Eye Care?

You’re at Emerald Coast Eye Care for your annual eye exam, and as you’re filling out paperwork you notice an optional “retinal screening” called the Optomap that is not covered by insurance. As you skim the page for more information, you might still be left with questions. Today, Emerald Coast Eye Care will share more information about our Optopmap machine, and the benefits that come along with having the screening done.

In essence, our Optomap machine utilizes advanced technology with low-powered laser wavelength to simultaneously scan across 200 degrees of your retina. It is recommended to have done at your annual exam in order to keep record of your retinas and monitor the health of your eyes.

So how does it work?

  • First, our technician will call you back to where our Optomap machine is. Then, you will be instructed to lean against the machine, guiding your right eye in the gap (where the camera is) looking for a bullseye target. The target will be blue when you first lean in, but the goal is to have it turn green. This allows the camera to properly align with your pupil with the right amount of pressure, so that we can get the best possible scan of your retinas. When you see the green light, you’ll see a quick flash of light which is the camera capturing a photo. We typically take 3-5 photos of each eye depending on how the picture turns out. Once both eyes are done, and your entire pre-test routine is completed by the technician, Dr. Patterson will then take a look at your eyes and review the Optomap images with you. He will thoroughly answer any questions you may have, and inform you on any potential eye disease or issue that will need to be monitored.

Interested in seeing what an Optomap picture looks like?

Below is an example provided from Optomap of what a retinal image could look like. You will see key parts like your optic nerve, macula, fovea, central retina, and optic disc.

Optomap Ultra-Widefield Retinal Imaging : Scarbrough Family Eyecare: Optometry

Is the Optomap machine really that important?

Simply put, yes, it is extremely important to have done, and only takes a few seconds to scan each eye!

Our Optomap machine makes it easier to detect diseases, as well as cataracts, retinal holes, detachments and macular degeneration.  Something so quick and easy can help you prevent vision loss or other damaging issues in the eyes. “Some of the first signs of diseases such as stroke, diabetes and even some cancers can be seen in your retina, often before you have other symptoms.” (

Overall, the Optomap machine is an incredible advancement in technology and something you can have done to take care of your eyes!