What is an OCT?
The OCT takes a 3D scan of the retina, similar to an ultrasound image. It is completely safe and non-invasive. The scan takes less than a second and requires no drops or contact with the eye. When your optometrist looks into your eye they can usually only see the retinal surface; OCT gives us an image of the many layers of the retina so we can look beyond the surface for any changes. We can also use it to get a 3D image of the structures at the front of the eye, for example to measure the thickness of your cornea.
Why have an OCT scan?
Being able to see 'through' the retina means we can pick up changes in your eyes that wouldn't normally be seen during a routine eye examination. Optometrists are highly trained in detecting eye disease as well as a number of general health problems; the OCT will allow us to screen for changes and detect them much earlier than usual. Some of the things it will allow us to do:
- see very early changes in the retinal nerves, leading to very early detection and prevention of glaucoma
- screen for early stage macular degeneration before it becomes visible on the surface
- monitor moles or 'naevi' in the retina (like moles on the skin, these are surprisingly common and can occasionally become malignant so should be closely monitored)
- screen for early signs of M.S. through changes in the retinal nerves (often the eye is the first place M.S. will show)
- find small holes and distortions in the macula (the centre of the retina) which can help explain blurred vision and can often be treated
- detect fluid under the retina in diabetes and other vascular disease
Who should have an OCT?
OCT is recommended for everyone as a screening tool; it never hurts to be given the all-clear! However it is particularly advised for people with a family history of glaucoma or macular degeneration, diabetics, and for those noticing any unusual change in their vision. Building up a series of images over several visits can be the first clue that changes are happening in your eyes, and the OCT software allows us to analyse and compare your results from one visit to the next!
What does it cost?
We will be offering OCT at a special introductory rate of £15. The usual cost will be £30, which is fantastic value considering what it can do! To have an OCT you will need to book an eye examination and mention you'd like an OCT when booking, so we can allow a longer appointment for the optometrist to thoroughly discuss the findings with you. Call our friendly team on 01761 432 169 or e-mail email@example.com if you require any further information, or for bookings.