Patient Education : Retinal Diagnostic Testing


What is OCT?

OCT, which stands for Optical Coherence Tomography, is a highly specific diagnostic test that allows us to examine the cell layers of the retina and optic nerve 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, which provides a cross-section of the retinal cell layers, 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, which can detect early signs of retinal disease. It allows for the imaging of the retina without even touching the eye. The only discomfort you may feels is a flash of light when the OCT records the scan of your eye. The testing takes only a few minutes and the result are available immediately, which allows the treating ophthalmologist to discuss the results with you and to provide the best treatment possible.