OCT – Optical Coherence Tomography

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What is OCT?

OCT allows ophthalmologists to examine structures inside our eye that are transparent, very small and often invisible. It’s similar to ultrasound but uses reflected light rather than sound waves. The most common parts of the eye looked at are the retina and the optic nerve. OCT is a totally safe investigation and like ultrasound the things that can be seen with it are amazing.

Zeiss Cirrus

Dr McKellar has a Zeiss Cirrus OCT, the most widely used OCT in the world. It produces outstanding images of the retina and optic disc.

The Zeiss Cirrus OCT

The Zeiss Cirrus OCT

Retinal OCT

Retinal OCT scans are one way eye specialists examine the inner lining of the eye. They can gain more information about certain diseases such as Age Related Maculopathy (ARM). In ARM the retina becomes thinned and scarred. Abnormal blood vessels form beneath the retina. OCT scans are also performed when it is hard to check the health of the retina during clinical examination, such as when cataract is present. Baseline OCT scans are now routinely performed prior to eye surgery so that any changes can be detected and treated.

OCT of a retina showing a small detachment of the retinal pigment epithelium

OCT of a retina showing a small detachment of the retinal pigment epithelium

Optic disc OCT

OCT can also help ophthalmologists look at changes in the optic disc, most commonly in patients who may have glaucoma or need monitoring of glaucoma treatment.