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OCT, AND WHY IS SO IMPORTANT

What is OCT?

OCT stands for Optical Coherence Tomography. In short, it's a way to look after the health of your eyes. It works a bit like an ultrasound scan, but it uses light instead of soundwaves. It also has much better resolution so gives much clearer images than ultrasound. There are 2 ways to simply explain OCT:

  1. Like having an MRI scan or your eyes. Or if you prefer a more real world explanation:

  2. Imagine the photo you have taken of the back of your eyes is the top of a cake. Having OCT scans done is like being able to take a slice of the cake and look at the different layers of it. EYE TEST

Why have OCT done?

In the realm of ophthalmology (medical eye care), few technologies have had as profound an impact as OCT. This imaging technique has revolutionised the way eye care professionals diagnose, monitor, and treat various eye conditions. Practitioners can now see much smaller changes than ever before, which when viewed next to the corresponding photographs of the eye, can be quite surprising when the photos appear deceptively normal. In other words, we can spot things that would otherwise have been missed. It can be incredibly helpful in diagnosing eye conditions such as:

  1. Age-Related Macular Degeneration (AMD)

  2. Glaucoma

  3. Diabetic Retinopathy

  4. Macula Holes

  5. Macula Oedema

  6. Retinal Detachment

Plus many others besides.


Are all OCT Scans the same?

Of course some equipment is more sophisticated than others, but I would argue that just as important is the skill and knowledge of the person performing the scans. I believe all scans should be performed by a fully qualified optometrist. That is what we do here at EDGE, in every eye examination. I have worked at the big multiple chains in the past. Some of them do OCT scans, but the procedure is performed by shop floor staff. I've even seen these scans come through to my consulting room upside down! There are many different types of scans that can be performed. The best person to decide which scans are most appropriate is the optometrist.


In Conclusion

The introduction of OCT has significantly improved the standard of care. At this point, it should be part of any standard eye examination. Here are some key ways OCT has transformed eye care:

  • Early Detection: OCT allows for the identification of eye conditions at their earliest stages, often before symptoms appear. This early detection is crucial for preventing vision loss and starting timely treatment.

  • Accurate Diagnosis: With its high-resolution imaging capabilities, OCT provides precise and detailed images, enabling accurate diagnosis and assessment of various ocular conditions.

  • Monitoring Disease Progression: OCT is an invaluable tool for tracking the progression of eye diseases. Regular scans help clinicians monitor changes over time and adjust treatment plans accordingly.

  • Guiding Treatment: OCT aids in planning and evaluating the effectiveness of treatments, whether it's administering injections for macular oedema or performing surgery for retinal detachment. This guidance ensures the best outcomes for patients.



Here are some of the kind of images we can get with OCT. Don't worry if you can't make head nor tails of them, that's my job!



An OCT Scan of Wet AMD
An OCT Scan of Wet AMD

A Macula Map OCT Scan of Both Eyes
A Macula Map OCT Scan

An OCT Scan of Dry AMD
An OCT Scan of Dry AMD

An OCT Disc Map Scan of Both Eyes
An OCT Disc Map Scan

If you have any questions about OCT, use the contact forms on this website or email info@edge-eyewear.co.uk.






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