What is the OCT scan?

Posted on Thursday, March 24, 2016

What is the OCT scan?

I bet your first question is, what does it stand for? Ocular Coherence Tomography, quite the mouthful! Your next question, what is it? It is a complex piece of equipment that we use here at C.E.Halls to measure the eye and particular layers of the retina. Now the retina is an incredibly important part of the eye, it is a light-sensitive layer that essentially works very much like a camera. You may remember from school learning about rods and cones, these make up some of the layers in the retina. The rods are mainly reactive to dim light while cones support daytime vision.

Here is the most important part, what does it do? It works very much like an MRI or CAT scan; by scanning your retina in 3D it can allow our practitioners to see problems within the eye, sometimes even for the very first time that cannot easily be seen by traditional methods. The OCT scan allows us to pick up any problems within the retina much earlier, resulting in earlier treatment, more treatment options and a better visual outcome. Some of the diseases we can detect using the scanner are glaucoma, diabetes and age related macula degeneration. All of these can cause damage to the retina which can lead to visual impairment or worst case scenario, blindness.

So what happens during the scan? Thankfully the scan is incredibly simple and non-invasive; there are no sudden puffs of air. The chin and forehead are placed on a rest, you are then asked to focus on lights for a few moments and then there you have it, one OCT scan!

A member of staff has kindly allowed us to show you their OCT scan, so have a look!

OCT Scan

Now it all looks very complex, and it is but our practitioners will take you through it step by step! What the green is showing us is a healthy retina! However there are a few bits of yellow and red which indicates a slightly thinner layer, now as this is a young person there are a few changes they can make to their diet which may help. Leafy greens such as kale are superfoods for the eyes; I will post more on foods for healthy eyes next month! There are also a number of supplements on the market that specifically target the eyes; Macushield and Preservision with Lutein are the ones that we recommend which we have constant stock of.

For any more information or to book in please contact us. Thank you for reading!

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