Understanding your OCT Eye Test

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In the dynamic world we live in and navigate today, it is essential to prioritise your vision health, especially if you are someone who uses a digital screen for many hours during the day – which so many of us do. Unfortunately, with our fast-paced lifestyle, getting regular eye exams can often be overlooked. However, a trusted optician can monitor changes over time and address concerns quickly, by guiding and advising you on how to manage appropriate treatments.

The technology of scans has advanced over time, and now Optical Coherence Tomography (OCT) can help detect unnoticed conditions and prevent further damage.

What is OCT?
Optical Coherence Tomography (OCT) scans provide a view of your eyes, examining beneath the surface to assess their health. This non-invasive technique generates detailed images of the retina, helping opticians map layers and measure their thickness. This scan also reveals the optic nerve, aiding in identifying potential issues. OCT eye tests enable early intervention and management of conditions, supporting visual health preservation.

How it Differs from a Normal Test
Unlike traditional eye tests, which primarily evaluate visual acuity and basic health, OCT eye tests offer a more comprehensive assessment. While regular tests might include retinal photography, these scans provide a 3D image of the back, allowing opticians to explore deeper structures. This enables precise identification of abnormalities within specific layers, differentiating conditions that may have similar clinical signs but require distinct treatments.

How it Works
The process of an OCT scan is quick and painless, and although the results may look different from other scans you have had in the past, it is very similar. During your examination, you will be asked to sit in front of a machine and rest your chin on a support. The machine’s attached instrument scans your eyes using reflected visible light from a low-power laser. This approach captures over 1,000 images of the eye, creating a layered image that provides accurate insights into its structures. This technology helps identify subtle changes in the vitreous, retina, macula, and optic nerve over time, enhancing early detection of potential issues.

Why You Might Need One and What it Can Detect
OCT eye tests offer substantial benefits for a variety of individuals. Recommended for those aged 25 and older (especially those with diabetes, glaucoma, or a family history of a disease in this organ), these scans can detect sight-threatening conditions like those mentioned above, as well as retinopathy and macular degeneration up to four years earlier than traditional methods. Additionally, they can identify detached retinas, age-related degeneration, cone and cone-rod dystrophies, and even tumours, enabling timely intervention and improved outcomes.

Regular OCT eye tests, suggested by healthcare providers, can become a crucial part of your health regimen, enabling monitoring, proactive health, and early detection of conditions to intervene accordingly and have better outcomes. Getting checked by a professional is important, and this tool can make a substantial difference in your time management and lifestyle. Don’t put off your eye health – visit your local optician today!

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David Paul opticians epitomise everything you want from a local optician. Not only do they offer normal eye exams, they also provide an expert service that can include an OCT eye test, advice on buying your ultimate pair of glasses and much more. The team of experienced eyewear specialists and expert optometrists are there to make your glasses and contact lens buying experience the best it can be.

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