Apologies, this is going to get a little bit techy!
OCT is a wonderful technology which allows us to measure the eye and particularly the layers of the retina. The retina is the light sensitive area at the back of the eye, equivalent to a film in a camera or CCD in a digital camera. An OCT scan is similar to an MRI or CAT scan for the eyes. OCT can image in 3D allowing us to see, sometimes for the first time, problems within your eye that could not be seen by conventional methods.
The retina can be damaged by many common diseases like Glaucoma, Diabetes and Age Related Macular Degeneration. Damage to the retina can lead to visual impairment or even blindness. Using OCT enables us to pick up any problems at a much earlier stage, usually allowing you better treatment options and a better visual outcome. Only 10 years ago OCT technology was mainly used in research, but advancements in the technology have brought this to the forefront of eyecare. This revolutionary technology is quite common in eye hospitals but this top level of care is available in only a small number of private consulting rooms or Optometric practices. We have invested heavily to ensure that the very best technology is available to protect your eyesight now, and in the future.
Insert Patient video from Zeiss
OCT Macula Scan
The macula is located roughly in the center of the retina. It is a small and highly sensitive part of the retina responsible for detailed central vision. The macula allows us to appreciate detail and perform tasks that require central vision such reading. If damage occurs to the macula it affects the central vision – usually the first problem you’ll notice is the lack of ability to see detail but other symptoms can include blurred and distorted vision. A lot of macula problems can now be treated, even wet macular degeneration, but treatment for all macula conditions is far more successful the earlier the condition is detected. The OCT scan will pick up abnormalities a clinician is unable to visualise.
OCT Optic Disc Scan
Glaucoma is know as the “thief of sight” as up to 50% of those with the disease do not know that they have it. The disease causes thinning of the nerve fibre layer in the retina and over time this results in a gradual loss of vision, with untreated glaucoma leading to blindness. The OCT Disc Scan measures the thickness of the nerve fibre layer and can pick up nerve fibre loss before any loss of vision has occurred. Conventional glaucoma detection has been done in the past by measuring eye pressure, visual fields and optic nerve assessment. A significant proportion of those who develop glaucoma have normal eye pressures or the disease is not detected until some loss of vision has occurred.
OCT can detect glaucoma up to 6 years earlier than traditional testing methods, meaning that treatment can be started sooner reducing the risk of any loss of vision significantly