Eye exam, sit lamp bright light, and retina photograph, safe? Share your story

Hi there I was wondering anyone here went through a full eyes exam where those bright lights shine to your eyes from the sit lamp. AND also the retina photography, or retina scan. How safe are those things? The retina photograph snap light is super bright.
Please share your story!

But on the good side is they can see everything on the back of your eyes, and so many eyes disease/problems they can see and help treated before it get to worst stage. It just I wonder how safe are those things.

Lately a week or so I started with migraine headache and spinning dizziness. Then the dizziness go away, but then I started to get tension headache, plus extreme remember pressure on the back of both my eyes, and pain. (Worry it might be glaucoma).

Went to eye doctor, got full exam of those things above, eye pressure puff test was high, so they put me on a retina photography machine to took pics of back of my eyes. Luckily no glaucoma, looks normal. Phew, peace of mind for me.

I got diagnose with migraine, and my eyes looks very dry. Not glaucoma or any eye diseases (at least the retina photograph didn’t show anything).

It just I wonder how SAFE are those machine and lights at eye doctor office.

1 Like

I have had those retina scan photos, and careful examination for the last 4 or 5 diabetic eye exams. I have a very small amount of retinopathy in my right eye that bears careful watching. I have not experienced any vision problems from these exams except the discomfort at being fully dilated and having a very bright light shined in my eyes. The real danger to the eyes is when driving in bright Texas sun after the exam. I wear the roll up shades under my UVA/UVB blocking sunglasses. I never have the pleasure of an overcast day when I have an eye exam - LOL

I get retinal photographs every year. There has never been a problem, but they said the east time that there was some blood vessel growth which makes it more likely to bleed. But I didn’t have any bleeds or retinopathy.
I find the procedure unpleasant, but I doubt it’s harmful.

I think the dilating solution is less severe than when having my eyes checked for glasses, so it seems to wear off faster.

I think it’s a good idea to have it every year just to catch any problems if they are starting

LOL Texas doesn’t have a monopoly on bright sunshine, my ophthalmologist will not perform an exam on me unless I have someone to drive me afterwards.

I hate these exams, I have a very strong blink response, there are a bunch of family pictures of me with my eyes closed due to flash photography.


No issue here. I have had them every six months for 14 years.

1 Like

If you are susceptible to headaches from bright lights then you may very well get a severe headache from this. It could be coincidence, but several years ago after one of these exams I became so ill that I vomited non stop for hours. I managed to keep a bit of banana down to keep from having a severe low.

I believe it was the dilation solution that caused my problem, so, now, I ALWAYS ask for the weakest dilation solution, and I’ve been fine since then with the exams.

I saw my ophthalmologist last week, but no pics.
I’ve had pics taken in the past. Never heard about it being dangerous, just unpleasant.
I’ve had retina problems in the past but my doc now says my eyes are very stable and nearly unchanged since my last exam.
I am slightly skeptical though. I once had a detached retina a month after getting a clean bill of health from a retina surgeon.


I’ve had retina photos taken for 30 years. It hasn’t ever caused any damage. I just had it done recently after skipping 2020. I got a good clean bill of health. I also had my prescription checked which was unchanged.
So I got some new glasses.
I consider myself lucky. No kidney disease and no eye troubles.
I was not well controlled in the 80s and 90s. I started pumping in 2000 and my control had gotten better every new thing taht came along.
I’m getting older so now I’m worrying about this stuff these days.