What is Optical Coherence Tomography (OCT) Scan & How it Works?

What is Optical Coherence Tomography (OCT) Scan & How it Works?

Aug 05, 2022

What is Optical Coherence Tomography (OCT Scan)?

Optical coherence tomography is a noninvasive imaging technique used to generate retina pictures. The images are generated by measuring the amount of dim red light reflected off the back of your eye and optic nerve. This scan helps detect changes in the retina and optic nerve.

OCT helps detect diseases such as diabetic retinopathy, glaucoma, and age-related macular degeneration. Furthermore, it can monitor certain neurological conditions like multiple sclerosis.

Besides helping the doctors detect the conditions in the eye, it helps them decide on treatment plans for different conditions. It’s possible to monitor glaucoma because the scan detects changes in the optic nerve.

If you are experiencing eye problems, you can get an OCT scan. Visit a reputable optometrist who offers OCT scan near you.

Conditions That Can be Detected by an OCT Scan

Below are the conditions that can be detected by an OCT scan:

  • Glaucoma– increased eye pressure damaging the optic nerve.
  • Diabetic retinopathy – as a result of diabetes, small blood vessels get damaged, resulting in leaking fluid from the eye.
  • Age-related macular degeneration – a progressive disease that leads to loss of central vision
  • Macular edema or macular hole
  • Central serous chorioretinopathy
  • Optic nerve disorders
  • Cone and cone-rod dystrophies
  • Vitreous traction

What is OCT Angiography?

Optical coherence tomography angiography is a new imaging method that generates detailed retina photos. An OCTA scan provides all the information provided in an OCT scan but with advanced 3-dimension images. Optometrists can design an ideal treatment plan.

The scan also provides detailed images of blood flow in the retina and choroid. It, therefore, helps detect more disorders.

When to Perform an OCT Scan?

Your eye care expert determines when to conduct an optical coherence tomography when they suspect presence conditions during an eye exam. Also, they perform the scan when the eye care professional is actively monitoring or helping manage a certain condition. Our optometrist in Vaughan also recommends an OCT scan if you are of a particular age due to age-related disorders. Some eye care specialists may propose including an OCT scan during regular eye exams. Once included in the eye exams, it’s easier to monitor the thickness of the retinal layers and thus screen for eye conditions at an early stage.

How Does an OCT Scan Work?

An OCT uses a low-powered laser to generate images of your retina and optic nerve layers. You focus on a green target and occasionally see a green line. The images created are cross-sectional, 3-D, and color-coded.

What to Expect During an OCT Scan

An OCT scan requires zero special preparation. You must be relaxed, and they will conduct the scan. You sit down on a chair and rest your chin on a chin rest attached to a machine. They will then instruct you to focus your eyes on a green target within the machine. When focusing, the machine scans one eye at a time. As you focus, you’ll see red lines. The test results are usually ready in just a few minutes. Notably, your eyes won’t come into contact with the machine.

Risks Associated with OCT Scan

There are no risks towards an OCT scan. There are some side effects, including dryness and fatigue. Also, the scan is ineffective on conditions such as cataracts and bleeding in the vitreous.

Visit an Eyecare Expert Near You

We at Dr. Allyson Tang Optometrist – Vaughan recommend you to get regular examinations. However, you should visit the eye doctor in between the regular examinations if you have eye pain, trouble seeing colors, or experiencing blurry vision. If you are looking for an OCT scan in Vaughan, ON, you can call us or schedule a consultation with Dr. Allyson Tang Optometrist – Vaughan today!

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