At Teahan Optometrists we always invest in the latest diagnostic equipment to enhance our patients’ care. We are currently using Optical Coherence Tomography (OCT) as an integral part of the standard eye examination. This is a 3 dimensional imaging technique that images the internal eye structures, including the retina, in great detail.
OCT is a non-invasive, painless, diagnostic test. The OCT takes high resolution digital photographs, and uses light waves to take cross-sectional images 3-D images of the retina. The cornea and irido-corneal angle can also be imaged. OCT technology can help us detect the early onset of many eye diseases including the top 3 diseases known to cause vision loss, which are age-related macular degeneration, glaucoma, and diabetic eye disease. Many eye diseases can be detected using the OCT prior to any symptoms being experienced by the patient. Earlier detection of eye disease allows much earlier intervention, and this leads to potentially better outcomes.
To help us achieve high quality images we sometimes have to use dilating eye drops. These drops widen your pupil which makes it easier to examine your retina. (Your vision may be slightly blurry after the drops and you could be more sensitive to light for up to a few hours after the examination).
Taking images at every eye examination allows us to closely monitor any changes to your retina that can occur over time. For this reason we find the OCT is an invaluable tool for monitoring eye disease progression.
There is no extra charge for our OCT imaging service as we feel it has become the standard of care for any eye examination.
Below are some samples of the digital images and cross-sectional and 3-D images that the OCT provides.
Above is a digital image showing diabetic retinopathy with features such as blot haemorrhages, exudates and cotton wool spots.
The above image and cross-sectional scan show how drusen appears in dry macular degeneration. This is a very common eye disease.
This final image below is of a choroidal melanoma (the dark area in the image which is in the top right section). These are very serious cancers of the eye. However, a benign naevus can look very similar to a choroidal melanoma in the early stages. The OCT, in this case, helped us to see that this was not a benign dark mark called a naevus, but that is was more likely a raised choroidal melanoma. This patient was referred for urgent treatment and fortunately was diagnosed early enough that the eye did not need to be removed.