2019 was an exciting year for us here at Respectacle Company. As well as expanding our eyewear collections, we invested in Optical Coherence Tomography technology (OCT). A type of advanced eye test, this produces a detailed 3D scan of your eye which is similar to an ultrasound scan.
The scanning equipment uses light to create an image of the different layers of your eye. We can capture both a photograph and a cross section of the eye at the same time, which means we can now see deep within the eye’s structure and detect any abnormalities or changes to these layers at a very early stage.
Optical Coherence Tomography imaging technology allows for instant and early diagnosis of many common ocular conditions. When detected, the condition can be treated or managed quickly and successfully to help prevent future problems with the health of your eye and difficulties with your vision. The scan is quick, painless, non-invasive and simple to carry out. The results are instant and allow our optometrist to analyse and present what he finds to you all during the same appointment. The software within this device will also automatically detect very small changes within the retina, and each time you have an OCT scan any changes are automatically recorded. It gives us an invaluable ongoing health record of the condition of your eyes. A great benchmark to work from when assessing the health of your eyes.
The benefits of OCT technology
Many medications can have side effects, especially with long term use. In fact, many people don’t actually take the time to read the information leaflets supplied with prescription and over the counter drugs. And yet quite often one of the areas that can be affected is the condition of our eyes. In this instance an OCT scan is invaluable as with regular scans, so we can plot very small changes within the structure of the eye which medicine might be causing. Early intervention can halt any further changes and potentially avoid sight loss.
There are many potentially serious conditions that our high definition OCT scanning equipment can detect at an early stage, including:
Age related macular degeneration
Age related macular degeneration (AMD) is the leading cause of blindness in the UK. As the name suggests, this condition mainly affects older people and causes degeneration of the photo receptors within the macular area of the eye. The central area of your eye – which enables detailed vision – is affected by this condition. There are two types of AMD, wet and dry. Wet AMD causes rapid reduction in vision and needs to be treated quickly. Unlike dry AMD, which is more gradual, wet AMD can cause sudden loss of sight in just a matter of days.
An OCT scan can help identify the early signs of AMD. The technology allows us to refer as necessary so treatment and management of this debilitating condition can be started as early as possible, to help reduce the condition progressing.
Over four million people in the UK are diagnosed with diabetes. Experts claim that there are many more undiagnosed. Diabetes is one of the main causes of blindness in people of working age. An OCT examination helps in the early diagnosis of diabetic retinopathy, allowing early referral and management of this condition. It means that the rate of success through treatment is greatly improved.
Glaucoma damages the optic nerve, which is the nerve that connects the eye to the brain. The damage is caused by elevated intraocular pressure and can result in the gradual loss of peripheral vision. However, if diagnosed early glaucoma can be easily managed and shouldn’t cause any visual issues. With glaucoma affecting about 2 in 100 people over 40 years old – increasing to 1 in 10 over the age of 75 – regular eye examinations are essential. An OCT scan can measure many features at the back of the eye to assess its health and diagnose at a very early stage.
Vitreous detachments & macular holes
OCT scans can detect very small macula holes and vitreous detachments, often even before the patient is aware of any issues or symptoms. As we age, the vitreous jelly within the eyeball can change, become softer and come away or detach from the back of the eye. This can pull on the retinal surface and damage this area of the eye. With this type of detachment, the person doesn’t experience any pain or any changes with their vision until the eye has been damaged. Macular holes can occur from a complicated detachment, which affects our central detailed vision. Again, early intervention through discovering these conditions through an OCT scan can prevent any further damage and slight loss to the patient.
How do I book an OCT scan?
An OCT scan is a much more extensive health assessment of your eyes, compared to the normal eye examination. Using state of the art 3D technology, 128 high resolution scans of the back of the eye are taken to create a detailed picture of the health of your eyes.
An advanced OCT eye scan is available to our clients and takes around 10 minutes. To book your OCT scan please call 01858 433 577. Alternatively, fill out our contact form and we will get back to you as soon as we can.