At some point, you’ve probably seen an optometrist for various eye issues. Whether you’ve struggled with blurred vision or eye discomfort, an optometrist can diagnose the problem through an eye exam. Depending on your condition, they might have recommended optical coherence tomography (OCT) imaging, which is a powerful tool they use to track your eye health and diagnose eye diseases.
This nifty exam has advanced the progression of medical technology in optometry. Thanks to its advanced features, optometrists and other eye professionals can comfortably examine their patients in a safe and non-invasive way. If you’re due for an OCT exam, here’s what you need to know:
What Exactly is Optical Coherence Tomography?
Also known as a 3D or digital eye exam, it takes digital images of your eye so optometrists can analyse it properly. The device takes a cross-sectional picture of your retina, which is a thin layer of tissue over your eye that receives light.
How Does It Work?
OCT works like an ultrasound exam, as it displays real-time images of your eye’s structure. However, it uses light waves instead of sound waves, which ultrasound exams use. The light waves scan your retina, allowing your optometrist to examine it closely at an incredible resolution.
What Should I Expect During an OCT Examination?
The OCT exam is rapid, usually clocking around 10 minutes. No preparation is needed beforehand, as it’s painless and non-invasive. All you have to do is to put your chin on the chin rest and keep your eye open as you stare at a target, which is often a tiny picture or a blinking dot. The OCT machine will then scan your eye without coming into contact with it.
Depending on your eye history or risk level, your optometrist may ask you to take an OCT exam with your eyes dilated. It’s a straightforward procedure in which the optometrist will put specially formulated eye drops that cause your pupils to expand. While you’ll be fine after the exam, be sure to wear sunglasses, as you’ll be sensitive to light for a time.
What are the Benefits of OCT Testing?
OCT exams allow optometrists to get an in-depth look into your eyes without resorting to surgical methods. Since it’s fast, painless, and no-contact, it’s incredibly convenient and easy. It also allows optometrists to diagnose eye disease in the early stages, allowing you to seek effective treatment earlier. Optometrists can also monitor the progression of eye disease, diagnose such conditions in children, and even detect other medical conditions like high blood pressure and vascular diseases.
Fortunately, OCT can help diagnose many common eye diseases. One of these is age-related macular degeneration (AMD), which OCT is useful at identifying at an earlier rate than other methods. As it supplies detailed images of your retina and macula, optometrists can identify irregularities caused by the disease.
It can also detect glaucoma since OCT shows the optic nerve and any damages or changes to it. It works even better than standard glaucoma tests, as these cannot diagnose glaucoma forms that do not result in increased intraocular pressure.
Another disease that OCT can diagnose is diabetic retinopathy. The exam displays damaged or abnormal blood vessels in the retina, which can point optometrists towards identifying the disease in patients.
OCTs are a handy tool for people with increased risk of eye disease. If you have diabetes, hypertension, or a personal or family history of eye disease, you may want to schedule an OCT exam. Given how convenient, quick, and simple it is, you can receive a wealth of important information about your eye and catch eye diseases before they progress.
Skopticians is composed of optometrists in Earls Colne and Frinton On Sea. We’ve been providing top-quality family eye care and optical services to Essex communities for over thirty years. Whether you’re dealing with poor eyesight or eye pain, our specialists have the expertise and technologies to assist you. Contact us today for a free consultation!