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Optical Coherence Tomography (OCT)

Optical Coherence Tomography (OCT) eye scan

What is it?

Optical coherence tomography (OCT) is a non-invasive test that allows your optometrist to take high resolution cross-sectional images of your retina, optic disc and cornea. It is often likened to an MRI or x-ray of the eye and allows your optometrist to see detailed images of your eye structures, providing them a better insight into your eye health. The OCT yields powerful diagnostic information which is complementary to conventional digital retinal photography. OCT imaging is safe and can be routinely performed on patients of any age.


How does OCT work?

The operation of the OCT is similar to ultrasound imaging except that light is used instead of sound waves. The OCT does not require direct contact with the eye and does not usually require dilation of the pupil to acquire images, although this may still be required depending on individual circumstances.

Why do we perform OCT scans?

The OCT is intended as a diagnostic aid in the detection and management of many common eye diseases such as: glaucoma, age-related macular degeneration, retinal disorders, diabetic retinopathy, and numerous other eye conditions.

How do we do it?

OCT is a straightforward test, painless and will usually be completed without the need for eye drops. This test is conducted by your optometrist or optometric assistant who will stay with you throughout the test. The test typically lasts between 5 and 10 minutes.

  • You are asked to place your chin and forehead onto the instrument.
  • You are asked to stare at a fixation point so that your eyes remain still.
  • You will be asked to avoid blinking for short periods of time while the operator is taking the images during which time you will see a series of lights move across your field of view.
  • Several scans may be performed for each eye as required.

What do we do with the results?

Your optometrist will analyze and discuss the results with you, which are then saved in your file and can provide an accurate reference for future comparison. Where appropriate, the results will be forwarded directly to your ophthalmologist.

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