What to Expect During a Retinal Evaluation

You have been referred to Indiana Retina by your primary eye care doctor for a comprehensive ocular exam focusing on the retina. A retinal examination takes longer than most medical or general eye examinations. You may be here for two to four hours.

If you were not given a New Patient Information Packet when your appointment was made, or you did not receive one in the mail, or you did not download a copy from this website, when you first arrive, we will ask you to fill out a detailed questionnaire about your medical history. Please
bring the names of any medications and the dosages that you are taking, as well as the name, address and phone number of all physicians involved in your medical care. This information is essential. It is the only way we can make sure that we do not prescribe treatment that would conflict with your other medications. It is also needed to coordinate your care with your medical doctors.

After you complete the questionnaire, a nurse or ophthalmic technician will perform an initial assessment. She will obtain  a thorough medical history and a history of your eye problem and check your vision and eye pressure. The next step is administering dilating eye drops to open your pupil. This allows us to see back to your retina. It takes a while for the dilating drops to take full effect. That means it will be necessary for you to wait at least 30- 40  minutes after dilation before you see the doctor.

When your eyes are completely dilated, you will see the doctor. Examining the retina requires very bright lights, the same kind of lights used by your general eye doctor. While this bright light is uncomfortable, it will not harm the eye. When the initial examination is over, the doctor may request special diagnostic testing for your condition.  Most of the tests can be performed at that time with our state-of-the-art diagnostic equipment by our specially trained and certified staff. Many patients who come in for a retinal examination, will need a test called a fluorescein angiogram and/ or an OCT test. Most patients with diabetes and macular degeneration will require these tests. For your convenience, we usually perform these tests the same day, since you are already here with your eyes dilated. During the fluorescein angiography test, a dye is injected into a vein in your arm. Our photographer then takes rapid sequence photographs of the retina. The dye shows the blood vessels in the retina in clear detail. This lets us identify abnormal or damaged blood vessels.  There are detailed web links on this site that describe this and other common tests that may be performed during your visit.

After reviewing the images and results of the testing, the doctor will discuss his findings and your retinal condition with you and your family, if they are present, and advise you of his recommendations for management and treatment. We will provide you with a copy of his findings when you leave, and will send a copy to your referring doctor.  It is important to us that we coordinate your retinal treatment with the excellent care provided by your referring doctor. 

If treatment is recommended, it may be possible to have it performed at this visit, or the treatment may need to be scheduled for another day depending on the urgency of the problem. 

Your eyes will remain dilated for several hours. Therefore, we strongly recommend that someone come with you to drive home, if that is possible.

 

Many retinal problems are emergencies - eye trauma, severe eye infections, retinal detachments, retinal tears and other conditions that demand urgent attention. That is why we try to keep our schedule flexible enough to accommodate these patients. But emergencies are unpredictable and sometimes take more time than we have allotted. When that happens, it may mean a longer wait for scheduled patients. If an unusual number of emergencies delays your appointment, we greatly appreciate your understanding.

Our staff is committed to assisting you with your ophthalmic care, convenient scheduling or financial questions.  Our office hours are 8:00 AM - 5 PM Monday-Friday.  We can be reached at (317) 817-1822, 24 hours a day in case of emergencies.  Please do not hesitate to contact us if you have any questions.

We look forward to meeting you in the near future and having the privilege of participating in your retinal care.

 

What should I bring?
  • Your regular prescription glasses for vision testing and a pair of sunglasses to wear after dilation.

  • A listing of all current medications and their dosage.

  • Your medical insurance card (s) and insurance addresses.

  • A photo identification card to ensure your identity to meet the new federal regulations concerning privacy and identity theft.

  • A driver for after your evaluation or treatment due to your dilation.

  • Diabetic patients should plan to bring a snack if they are scheduled close to their lunch times.

2010 - present

2010 - present