What is OCT?
OCT (Ultra high resolution Optical Coherence Tomography) is a new type of medical diagnostic imaging technology that performs high resolution, micron scale, cross-sectional imaging of structures inside the eye.
It can be called “MRI for the eye”, except it uses light and it provides images 3 times more detailed than MRI. It takes 26,000 scans per second. However, the procedure is safe and emits no radiation.
What is OCT used for?
OCT is an invaluable diagnostic tool for the following (and other) conditions:
How is OCT used to detect Macular Degeneration?
The macular area of the eye can be seen from inside the retina in great detail by SD – OCT. Abnormalities such as drusen and leakages can be detected.
For the first time the thickness of the nerve fiber layer around the fovea and optic nerve can be measured. It is felt that this can detect glaucomatous damage up to 5 years earlier than previously possible.
Narrow angle glaucoma
It is possible to directly image and measure the drainage area of the eye to detect whether this can potentially close and cause huge pressure surges. It can be determined with great accuracy when laser correction is required.
Central vision loss
The structure of the macula can be scanned in cases of vision loss to detect many common conditions such as macular edema and serious retinal detachments. It can also detect retinal distortion from pre-retinal membranes.
SD-OCT can detect retinopathy from diabetes far earlier than even surface digital imaging.
SD-OCT is now standard of care in monitoring patients of certain medications which may cause eye damage, such as plaquinil (Quinine).
The SD-OCT can scan and image corneas from the side enabling examination from within the tissue.
There are many more tasks the SD-OCT can perform such as looking for nerve fiber loss in conditions such as M.S., macular holes, and other optic neuropathies.
For more information, speak to your optometrists at OPTOMEYES.