We have always pushed the boundaries with the technology we use-we were the first practice in the Vale of Glamorgan to use fundus photography back in 2001. Our new piece of equipment is a giant leap ahead and is called 3D optical coherence tomography (3D OCT).
Optical coherence tomography or OCT as it is commonly abbreviated to is a highly advanced laser scanner allowing us to see the microscopic layers of the eye in 3D. It allows us to measure structures to the millionth of a metre. The technology can be likened to an ultrasound of the eye.
What does it involve?
OCT is a completely painless procedure, the machine does not make any contact with the eye. You simply look at a target for around three seconds and the scan ends with a camera flash. Our Topcon 3D OCT 2000 has many different functions. We may feel it appropriate to do more than one scan on each eye to look at different areas.
Who should have it done?
OCT is used extensively to investigate, monitor and diagnose conditions such as age related macular degeneration, diabetic retinopathy, glaucoma, macular holes and many others. If you suffer from any of these or are ‘at risk’ of these due to family history or other factors then you should consider OCT. However, we truly believe that OCT should be carried out on all our clients. All our eyes are unique meaning all our eyes look a little different. As optometrists, this makes our job fascinating but also a challenge. When we examine eyes we are looking at variations from ‘normal’ and deciding whether the variations require treatment. It can be difficult do decide whether the eye in question is ‘abnormal’ or simply a variation from the normal appearance. To help us with this and to avoid unnecessary referrals to busy hospital clinics, we tend to look for small changes over time which can suggest an active condition. To do this it is incredibly important that we have baseline data for our clients with which we can make comparisons over time. This means that we can then pick up any changes at the earliest possible stage, long before we would see these changes at a conventional eye test and often long before you are aware of any symptoms. If needed, we can then instigate treatment at an early stage and help to preserve your vision. We will always talk you through the scans that we have obtained and make sure you understand what we have been looking for and why.
How do I get it done?
When you book your eye test mention it to our receptionist and they will make sure your optometrist has adequate time to complete this as well as your eye examination. If you forget to, don’t worry as your optometrist will usually be able to fit the test in at the end of your examination. The cost of OCT is £35.00 but there is no supplementary fee if you are on our EyeCarePlan.