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What is Optical Coherence Tomography?

11th October 2021

Optical coherence tomography (commonly known as a 3D digital eye exam or an OCT scan), allows opticians to view the overall health of your eyes in closer detail. This exam tells us what’s going on beneath the surface of the eye. 

OCT is separate from an eye test. It checks your eye health as well as how well you can see. Part of this involves taking an image of the back of the eye. Although, OCT takes this a step further and looks into the structure of the eye too. An OCT scan is a non-invasive imaging technique that allows professionals to measure the thickness and health of your retina, and its layers.

How Does an OCT Scan Work?

The standard digital retinal photography allows us to see the surface of the back of the eye. Whereas an optical coherence tomography provides a detailed image of the inside of your eye, including its retina and layers. An OCT image provides a cross-sectional view of the inner anatomy of the eye to provide a deeper analysis. The scan can be repeated over time to compare each result and OCT scans can be used to detect any sight-threatening eye conditions earlier. For example, glaucoma can be found up to four years earlier.

OCT can detect:


  Diabetic retinopathy

  Detached retina

  Age-related macular degeneration

  Macular hole

These conditions can form at the back of the eye and it can pick up on changes in the retina, macula, and optic nerve. It’s recommended that OCT scans are taken for people over the age of 25. Those who are curious about their eye health, those who have diabetes, diagnosed glaucoma, or have a family history of eye disease. 

Just like ultrasound scans use soundwaves, Optical Coherence Tomography uses light waves. It can take over 1,000 images behind the eye, even looking through to the optic nerve; converting light into images.

Why Should You Consider OCT?

Optical Coherence Tomography is an advanced technique that can support your eye, and overall health, it is also completely painless. An OCT scan is focused on the retina (thin tissue that sits on the back of the eye). We can digitally peel back each layer of the eye and diagnose, manage, and refer you for any further treatment that is required. This could be our laser eye surgery treatments

Choose LaserVision for Your Vision Correction Treatments

Please note that any self-diagnosis is not recommended and the information above is a guide. This only provides you with information so that you can visit our medical experts. 

Our team of eye surgeons will help to guide you in the right choice for you based on your requirements. Contact us to book an appointment for a full consultation and find out more about Optical Coherence Tomography and any other vision correction treatments you require.

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