Optical Coherence Tomography is a non-invasive imaging test that may be performed as a standard part of your regular, comprehensive exams, or you may be able to request this test as an addition to your usual exam.
Optical Coherence Tomography uses light waves to take cross-section images of your retina, which is the area of light-sensitive cells at the back of your eye that is responsible for receiving light and transmitting it into messages that are sent up to the brain. The technology behind OCT enables your eye doctor to see each of the different layers that make up the retina. By being able to see these and measure them, they can obtain a much clearer picture of the overall health and condition of your eyes.
When you choose to have an OCT scan at fairly regular intervals, such as during your normal comprehensive eye exams, your eye doctor can compare newer results to previous ones. This helps them to build up a picture of the health of your eyes, and spot any changes which may be concerning, early, before they cause symptoms or have a permanent effect on your vision.
Anyone can have an OCT scan, but they are particularly recommended for patients over the age of 25 who are concerned about the health of their eyes, or who are at risk of or already have diabetes, glaucoma or a family history of eye disease. This is because they can be used to spot the early signs of a range of eye diseases, including glaucoma, diabetic retinopathy, macular degeneration, disorders of the optic nerve and more – even before you realize that you are affected.
An OCT scan is a quick, painless experience. To prepare you, your eye doctor may require you to have eyedrops that will dilate your pupils and make it easier to see your retina. This means that the scanner will get clearer, more concise images. You’ll be asked to sit in front of the OCT machine where you will rest your head against a support to help you sit perfectly still. As you stare ahead, the equipment will perform the scan of your eyes. There is no contact with your eyes whatsoever, you will just need to sit still, with your eyes open as much as possible during the process, which usually takes less than 10 minutes. The images will be sent digitally to your eye doctor for them to assess immediately and stored digitally on your personal record.
There’s no downtime after an OCT scan, but if you have had your eyes dilated you may find that you are particularly sensitive to light for a few hours afterwards. This occurs because the pupils remain wider and therefore able to let more light in that usual.
If you would like to find out more about Optical Coherence Tomography, don’t hesitate to speak to our professional eyecare team.
Optomap is an innovative new technology that gives eye doctors the ability to perform ultra-wide retinal imaging that is far superior to what can currently be achieved using conventional retinal imaging options. In contrast to conventional retinal imaging, Optomap captures at least 50% more of the retina in a single capture, and with Optomap’s multi-capture function, up to 97% of the retina can be viewed. This gives eye care professionals greater opportunity to monitor the health and condition of patient vision.
Optomap is another great preventative eyecare technology tool. By allowing your eye doctor to have a comprehensive view of your retina, they will be able to detect any developing eye diseases early on, before they have a detrimental impact on your vision and day to day life. Not only can Optomap detect eye conditions such as retinal holes, retinal detachment, macular degeneration and diabetic retinopathy, but it can also be used to identify some general health conditions such as cardiovascular disease, stroke and cancer.
Optomap is a fast, painless and non-invasive procedure that is suitable for patients of all ages, even children and pregnant women. Many patients require their eyes to be dilated ahead of the scan and will be given eyedrops which will widen their pupils and make it easier for the camera to see the structures inside the eye. Pupil dilation is painless, but patients may feel more sensitive to light both during their Optomap scan and afterwards for up to 24 hours. You may also have slightly blurred vision for a few hours. Once your eyes are dilated, you’ll be sat down and asked to look into a small device that will take the pictures of your retina. A short flash of light will let you know that the image has been taken, and the entire imaging is over in just a few seconds. The results will be sent digitally to your eye doctor who will then evaluate them. The results will also be stored on your personal optical record for future information.
If you would like more information about what is involved in Optomap, or to schedule an appointment for this effective screening technology, please contact our eyecare team.
Visual field testing is an important part of most standard comprehensive eye exams. Also sometimes known as perimetry testing, Visual field testing is a method to measure the entire scope of vision of an individual, including their peripheral/side vision.
Visual field testing is one of the most effective diagnostic treatments in the detection of glaucoma. This is because when patients are affected by glaucoma, it is usually the peripheral vision that is affected by their condition first. However, it can also be used to detect central or peripheral retinal diseases, eyelid conditions such as drooping, optic nerve damage and conditions that affect the visual pathways from the optic nerve to the area of the brain where this information is processed into vision.
Visual field testing is also an important part of monitoring for people who are considered to be at risk for vision loss from disease and other problems, including those who have been diagnosed with the following:
- Multiple sclerosis
- Pituitary gland disorders
- Central nervous system problems (such as a tumor that may be pressing on the brain)
- High blood pressure
There are a variety of methods that can be used to perform visual field testing, including:
Static automated perimetry. This is where a machine is used to quantify how well the patient is able to detect flashing lights of varying size and brightness in different areas of their visual field, while they concentrate on a central point. The patient responds by pushing a button when they see the light.
Kinetic perimetry. This involves points of light that are fixed in size and intensity and are presented along the patient’s peripheral vision, before being gradually moved inwards to determine their field of vision.
Visual field testing is non-invasive, painless and doesn’t require patients to have their eyes dilated. The results, which are usually presented in a series of charts, are digital and sent directly to your eye doctor for interpretation. Depending on the outcome of your results, you may be recommended for further diagnostic testing which could include blood tests. If you have been diagnosed with glaucoma, you will probably be recommended to have several visual field tests each year, which will help your eye doctor to monitor the progression of your condition and recommend treatments to slow it.
If you would like more information about visual field testing, or if you have concerns about your peripheral vision, please don’t hesitate to schedule an appointment with our experienced and knowledgeable eyecare team today.