Optical coherence tomography (OCT) is an advanced method of scanning your eyes and is fantastic for people of all ages. Similar to ultrasound, OCT uses light rather than sound waves to illustrate the different layers that make up the back of your eye.
The OCT machine takes a 3-D cross-section scan of the back of the eye as well as a retinal photograph, in one quick scan. The test is non-invasive, painless and takes a few seconds for each eye. We love this insight as it enables us to make more informed recommendations about your eyecare.
A host of irregularities and eye disease can be detected and monitored with regular OCT screening.
COMMON CONDITIONS INCLUDE
Age-Related Macular Degeneration (ARMD): ARMD causes the gradual degradation of the macula (the central part of the retina). OCT can identify the earliest signs this condition and whether it is the wet or dry type. Unfortunately the risk of developing macular degeneration increase with age, and in the developed world it is the most common cause of vision loss in individuals over the age of fifty. But if caught early there is treatment available for wet macular degeneration. Certain supplements have been shown to help slow down the progression of ARMD, though a balanced diet including plenty of dark green leafy vegetables can be just as beneficial. Smoking is particularly bad for the macula.
Diabetes: Diabetic retinopathy is a major cause of visual impairment among adults. It affects around 2 million people in the UK. Diabetes causes damage to the peripheral blood vessels in the body, particularly those in the kidneys, nerves, and the eye. OCT examination enables early detection of diabetic eye changes, which generally improves the success of treatment.
Glaucoma: Glaucoma is an eye disease which causes progressive damage to the optic nerve at the point where it leaves the eye. Recent statistics suggest that some form of glaucoma affects around two in every 100 people over the age of 40. The danger with chronic glaucoma is that there are no symptoms at all and your eyesight will seem to be unchanged, while the peripheral field of vision is progressively reduced until tunnel vision remains. An OCT examination can help detect the very earliest indications of this condition, before there are any other clinical signs or loss of vision.
Vitreous detachment: As people get older the vitreous jelly that takes up the space in our eyeball can change becoming more liquid and as this happens it can cause traction by pulling on the retina. The danger of a vitreous detachment is that there is no pain, but the back of your eye may be damaged. If this is picked up quickly the damage can be limited.
OCT gives both us and you peace of mind that comes from knowing that your eyes are being thoroughly looked after.