When visiting your opticians, you may have many questions about what they will be looking out for and how they do it. Many opticians now have access to a range of great technology which allows them to make a more detailed analysis of not only your eyesight, but your eye health. So, what is an OCT scans? They are a type of advanced eye scan which is very similar to an ultrasound for the body. This scan provides optometrists with a detailed overview of the health of your retina, allowing early detection of possible eye health conditions. These eye conditions include Glaucoma, Macular Degeneration, and Diabetic Retinopathy. Here London based Opticians, Camden Opticians Group, have helped to explain what an OCT scan is in further detail. 

How does an OCT scan work?

An OCT scan is an advanced form of optical technology allowing for a clearer assessment of your eye’s health. OCT technology uses light waves to take images of your retina, creating a 3D image of your eye’s structure. This is very similar to the technology used during an ultrasound scan. The scan will be done on both eyes at the same time, this is a completely painless process and nothing to worry about. The only thing you may notice during the scan is the flash of light that is given off by the machine. This could dazzle you slightly for a few minutes but is no different to having your picture taken with flash. 

During your scan you will take a seat in front of the small machine, with your chin placed on a support. The member of the team completing your scan will then proceed with the scan. It does not need to touch your eye in order to complete the scan. 

Who should have an OCT scan?

As an OCT scan is often separate to a general eye test, not everybody will require further assessment. Many opticians will recommend an OCT scan if a patient is aged 25 or over and want to know more about their eye health. This is also recommended to those who have a family history of common eye conditions such as Glaucoma or those who have diabetes. An OCT scan is very important to fully ensure the health of your eyes. If you have booked a regular eye test it may be a good idea to ask also for an OCT scan. Having these OCT scans each time you book your routine eye tests will allow the optician to compare images over time and assess for any changes in the eye’s structures. This will give them a great wealth of information about your eyes, to detect early signs of eye conditions. 

Eye conditions detected by an OCT scan 

Some of the eye conditions an OCT scan detect include: 

  • Age-related macular degeneration (AMD)
  • Evaluation of macula
  • Macular hole or pseudohole
  • Vitreomacular traction
  • Glaucoma
  • Retinal assessment
  • Retinal detachment
  • Diabetic Retinopathy

An OCT scan will often be performed within a darkened room to provide the faster and more accurate results. I hope this article has helped you to understand what is an OCT scan. Do you get your eyes tested regularly? Family eye tests can be a really good way to introduce good health care.

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Last Update: Monday, 6th September 2021