You’ve seen thrillers where a spy or bank robber has to get into a vault that can only be opened with a retinal scan. They’re very cool and very high tech, and yes, they’re real.

What is the retina?

The retina is a light-sensitive layer in the back of the eye that contains highly evolved cells called rods and cones. It’s divided into the central (macula) and the peripheral retina. The macula has the highest concentration of photo-receptors (cones) and provides the sharpest vision. The peripheral retina is used for peripheral vision, which is critical for many activities, like driving and playing sports.

What are retinal scanners?

Retinal scanners are devices that detect unique patterns on a person’s retinal blood vessels and are used for authentication and identification purposes. Low-energy infrared light traces a path on the retina. Capillaries absorb more of the infrared light than surrounding tissues, and the difference in how much light is reflected is measured and assigned numbers. These numbers are turned into a computer code, which is compared to codes stored in a computer. Authorized codes will allow access to whatever the scanner is locking.

Are retinal scanners effective?

Retinal scanners are among the most reliable biometric devices. Retinal patterns usually remain unchanged throughout a person’s life, although they can be altered by diabetes, glaucoma, and macular degeneration. While originally used primarily by government organizations, they have grown increasingly popular in the private sector.

Can retinal scanners be fooled?

Retinal patterns are so unique that it can be very difficult to fool a scanner. Failure rates are less than two percent.

Can you make sure my retinas are healthy?

Do you have diabetic retinopathy? Are you concerned about flashes and floaters? CEENTA’s retina specialists are experts in their field. If you are concerned about the health of your retinas, ask your doctor to refer you to CEENTA today.

This blog is for informational purposes only. For specific medical questions, please consult your doctor. Would you like an appointment with a CEENTA eye doctor? Call 704-295-3000. You can also schedule an appointment online or through myCEENTAchart.


You may also be interested in

An eye after diabetic treatment
Diabetic eye conditions and their treatment

Modern treatments for diabetic eyes.

Read More
Sudden blurred vision
​Six causes for the sudden onset of blurred vision

What may be happening.

Read More
Drs. Berry, Gigliotti, and Wiley
​CEENTA welcomes Duncan Berry, MD, Adam Gigliotti, MD, and Lee Wiley, MD

Three new physicians.

Read More

Leave a Comment


Back to News
This website is optimized for more recent web browsers. Please consider these upgrade options: IE10+ (), Chrome (), Firefox ().