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Ocular Coherence Tomography (Or OCT for short)…

OCT scans are something independent opticians have been doing for quite a few years now so we wanted to write a bit about the importance of having one as part of your routine eye examination. So what does it do? In short, it takes a photo of your retina which doesn’t sound terribly special when you put it like that. However, it’s the power of the camera and the way it takes the photo that makes it special. The camera takes very high resolution images using infra-red light rays, this enables Optometrists and Ophthalmologists to view cross sections of your retina. Here’s an example below:-

So this is a nice healthy macula through the eyes of the OCT and that little dip in the middle is called your foveola. This is responsible for most of your central vision.

As you can imagine this is not something that can be seen just by looking through our scopes. This is why the OCT gives us up to a 5 year advantage on the health of your eye and can help us spot changes long before we can see them with the naked eye.

So  what does an unhealthy macula look like? Here’s an example:-

As you can see the dip in this image is not so obvious and the little grey lumps you can see at the bottom are called Drusen which is waste product that can damage the macula. The example above is a person with dry macula degeneration.

This is only one of a few eye diseases that can be seen using the OCT, we can monitor the progression of Glaucoma and diabetic maculopathy (more on what those diseases are another day!) and build a picture over time of what your eyes are doing.

Final question, does it hurt? Not at all! The OCT is completely non-invasive and painless, albeit a little bright at times! We simply ask you to pop your chin on a headrest and flash a few bright lights, it’s as simple and quick as that. So it’s no wonder we recommend it to everyone, a simple procedure can give us huge insight into the health of your eyes as you can see from the image below:-

If you have any questions about the OCT scan please call us or email to speak to one of our registered, qualified staff

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