Diagnostic Testing: Optical Coherence Tomography (OCT)
What is OCT?
OCT (Optical Coherence Tomography) is a highly specific diagnostic test that allows the cell layers of the retina and optic nerve to be examined in detail. Similar to the ultrasound technique, OCT uses scattering of light to rapidly scan the eye, providing a cross section of the cell layers of the retina. With this information, the treating ophthalmologist is able to detect ocular conditions, sometimes before the symptoms manifest in the patient.
Why is this test needed?
The OCT can detect early onset signs of retinal conditions such as macular hole, macular oedema, diabetic retinopathy, and age-related macular degeneration. This allows for earlier treatment for these conditions, which may improve the success rate of the treatment.
What is involved? Are there any side effects?
The OCT is a non-invasive technology. It allows for the imaging of the retina without even touching the eye. The only discomfort you may feel is a flash of light when the OCT records the scan of your eye. The testing takes only a few minutes and the results are available immediately, which allows the treating ophthalmologist to discuss the results with you and to provide the best treatment possible for your condition.