What is OCT?
Our Ocular Coherence Tomography (OCT) scanner landed in 2007 so we have well over a decade of experience in using and interpreting data from this wonderful technology.
OCT is a non-invasive imaging test that uses light waves to take cross-section pictures of your retina. Our scanner takes 128 individual scans of the back of the eye that shows the structure of the back of the eye in incredibly fine detail.
Including OCT scans as part of your eye examination lets us care for your eye health better. It means we have a much deeper look at the layers of your retina meaning we can pick up any changes sooner than we may be able to without the use of OCT. It also means we can accurately compare the OCT data from visit to visit and monitor your eye health closely.
What Happens During the OCT?
When you are taken through for your pre-screening you will be seated in front of the OCT and rest your head on a support. One of our optical assistants will talk you through each scan, and where to look. There is usually a green square on the screen to focus on, which can be in different positions for each scan. The machine will scan your eye and there will be a bright flash of light. Each scan will be viewed by the optometrist and discussed with you in your consultation.
Do I need OCT in my Eye Examination?
Whilst fundus photography takes images of the back of the eye, these do not show the finer details that the OCT can. We include the OCT scans in our eye examinations as they allow the optometrist to see each of the distinctive layers of the retina, mapping and measuring their thickness. The OCT can help to diagnose many eye conditions including:
- Macular hole
- Macular pucker
- Macular oedema
- Age-related macular degeneration
- Diabetic reinopathy
Each time you have an eye examination including OCT the optometrist will compare it to your previous visit to ensure there have been no changes, or to monitor an ongoing condition.
Our Optometrists always recommend having OCT if you can so that we can examine your eyes more closely and accurately using the technology we have at our disposal.
Can I upgrade my test to include OCT?
If you are eligible for a free NHS eye examination for any of the qualifying reasons, which does not include OCT scanning, you can upgrade your test to include OCT scans for a more enhanced eye examination.
Around 80% of our patients continue to include OCT as part of their regular examination and if you are an RP4 scheme member, it will always be included in your eye examination.