OCT Diagnostics at Coward & Associates
As medical technologies advance, practitioners become better at diagnosing even the most hard-to-detect early signs of diseases and disorders. This is certainly true in the field of optometry — and at Dr. Coward & Associates. Our eye doctors in Trenton, Brighton, and Belleville make use of a sophisticated diagnostic method called ocular coherence tomography (OCT) to help catch retinal problems before they can seriously damage your eyesight.
What is Ocular Coherence Tomography?
Ocular coherence tomography is a special kind of imaging test that generates its pictures from the way light waves reflect off of surfaces. In that respect, it resembles ultrasound imaging, which creates images based on the reflections of sound waves off of tissues with different densities. A special machine sends light waves into the eye and onto the retina. The delay of the returning reflected light waves is measured and then expressed as digital images.
Our eye doctor can use this technique to make a cross-sectional picture of your retinas, which lets us examine the tissue density at different parts of this vital, light-collecting tissue. Thin or damaged retinal tissue may alert your optometrist that you have a potentially serious retinal disorder which needs to be treated right away to preserve your eyesight. Ocular coherence tomography can be highly effective in helping us catch problems such as:
- Macular degeneration (which damages your ability to see objects directly in front of you)
- Diabetic eye disease
- Macular edema (swelling of the macula)
- Holes or puckers (wrinkles) in the macular tissue
CT is also used to examine the health of the optic nerves. Changes in optic nerve tissue can alert us to the presence of glaucoma — a leading cause of blindness, but also a very controllable one if caught early.
What to Expect From OCT
OCT is an easy and painless procedure. During the course of a comprehensive eye exam, our eye doctor may dilate your pupils so we can get a better view of the eye’s interior. At that point, all you have to do is rest your chin against a support and look into the OCT viewer. The entire scan only takes a matter of minutes, although you should be prepared for the pupil dilation to continue for some time afterward. (It’s a good idea to bring sunglasses for your trip home.)
Talk to Our Optometrists in Belleville, Brighton, and Trenton
Don’t let retinal and optic nerve damage sneak up on you — get the knowledge you need so you can fight back. Call Dr. Coward & Associates at (613) 968-6560 in Belleville, (613) 475-3900 in Brighton, or (613) 392-6211 in Trenton to schedule an appointment with an optometrist.