For almost a year now we have had an OCT Scanner within the practice at eyelines.
OCT or Optical Coherence Tomography is basically an ultrasound for the eye. Instead of using sound waves to image structures within the body the OCT uses light waves to enable high quality imaging of sub surface structures of the eye – generally the Retina.
This is a non invasive technique that enables viewing and measurement of the layers of the retina that will help in the diagnosis and monitoring of Glaucoma and conditions affecting the retina such as: Macular Degeneration; Vascular Disease; Diabetic Retinopathy; Retinal Detachments.
It has proven to be a very useful addition to our testing routine and we have spotted a number of conditions much earlier than we would have been able to in the past, and been able to refer for treatment or been able to monitor for change ourselves.
Here are some of the scan images
Scan of a healthy eye from a 15 year old.
Scan showing sub retinal fluid around the Macular area that did not have much effect on the visual acuity. The patient was able to draw a vague area of distortion that he was aware of that matched the size and shape of the sub retinal fluid exactly.
Scan showing a Macular hole and associated retinalschisis and epiretinal membrane.
Of course we never like discovering anything wrong with a patients eyes, it is much better to be able to do the scans and tell the patient that everything is perfectly healthy, but if we do pick up an abnormality we can get the patient referred to an eye hospital and treated.
The technology that is available to an optical practice now has changed by a huge amount even in the 20 or so years that I have been practicing. It will be interesting to see what the next developments are in the next few years.