What Is an OCT Eye Scan and How Can It Help Me?

When you come in to see us for an eye exam, we do much more than just check your vision. We also check your retinal health and one of the ways we do that is with an OCT eye scan. This scan is the best way for our optometrist to get a full view of your retina at the back of your eye and see if there are any potential problems. Let’s find out more…

What Is an OCT Eye Scan?

OCT stands for ‘optical coherence tomography’ and is a non-invasive, diagnostic 3D scan our optometrists use to detect any changes in your retina. All you have to do is simply rest your head on the chin rest in front of the machine, and within just a couple of minutes, it will be complete.

The scan works in a similar way to ultrasound but uses light instead to form an image. Your retina is made up of many layers which the OCT can capture to form a cross-sectional image, so we can quite literally see beneath the surface.

Which Eye Problems Can the OCT Identify?

An OCT scan can help us identify several eye conditions and diseases, including age related macular degeneration (AMD). AMD is the leading cause of vision loss in Canadians aged over 50. This disease affects your central vision and though you will retain your peripheral vision, this change can have a huge impact on your life. It’s important to have regular OCT scans to help detect the early signs of macular degeneration. Although there’s not yet a cure, with early diagnosis we can help you to manage the disease and slow down its progression.

An OCT scan can also help us to identify diabetic eye disease, an umbrella term for a group of eye problems that affect diabetics, including diabetic retinopathy and diabetic macular edema. Changes in the retina can be the first sign of such diseases before you notice any symptoms yourself, and like many eye diseases, early diagnosis can help us to treat this condition and prevent sight loss.

Glaucoma is another eye disease that the OCT is useful in diagnosing and monitoring. Symptoms often don’t show in this disease until it is at an advanced stage, but by using OCT to monitor tiny changes in the retina and optic nerve over time, glaucoma can be diagnosed much earlier. Anyone already suffering from glaucoma should also have regular OCT scans to monitor their retinal health.

Book an OCT Scan Today

The OCT scan is highly effective in identifying eye diseases that cause blindness and major vision loss. By including OCT scans with your regular eye exam, our optometrist can keep track of any changes to your retina and investigate potential problems as soon as possible. We can carry out an OCT scan at any of our practices including our new office in Picton, so get in touch to get advice or book your scan today.