Optical Coherence Tomography (OCT) is a non-invasive imaging test of different parts of the eye. The screening test scans the macula (central part of the retina) and is performed during comprehensive eye health exams for a nominal fee. Other more specialized OCT tests are done to diagnose or monitor other conditions such as glaucoma.
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. The retina 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 underneath the surface of the retina and examine each of the different layers that make up the retina. By being able to measure thickness and statistically compare by age all the underlying layers of the retina, Dr. Kubota can obtain a much clearer picture of the overall health and condition of your eyes.
When you choose to have an OCT scan at regular intervals, such as during your normal comprehensive eye exams, Dr. Kubota can compare newer results to previous ones. This helps her to build up a picture of the health of your eyes, and spot any changes which may be concerning early on, 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, who are at risk for diseases or have a family history of eye disease. The OCT can help identify 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. It is also the critical test that is needed to monitor the ocular side effects of medications that you may be taking.
An OCT scan is a quick, painless experience. You will 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 and fixate on a target with your eyes open for a few seconds while the actual scan is being taken. The whole process usually takes just a few minutes to scan both eyes. The images will be stored digitally for Dr. Kubota to assess.
If you would like to find out more about Optical Coherence Tomography, don’t hesitate to speak to our professional eyecare team.