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Even if your vision and eye health are perfectly fine, it’s really useful for your optician to have a baseline image on file, so they can refer to it every time you see us. It’s the same as when we take an image of the back of your eye with digital retinal photography.
So the next time you come in for an eye test, your optician can compare your images from your last visit as well as comparing measurements to averages and might spot even the tiniest change in the eye’s structures that could indicate the early signs of an eye health condition like glaucoma, diabetic retinopathy and macular degeneration before you have any symptoms.
This means that conditions like these can be managed before they get worse and can help prevent potential sight loss. That’s a pretty good result for just a quick scan.
An optical coherence tomography scan (commonly referred to as an OCT scan) helps us to view the health of our eyes in greater detail, by allowing us to see what’s going on beneath the surface of the eye.
This service is currently available in nearly half of our stores, with more rolling out each month.
Imagine it like a cake – we can see the top of the cake and the icing, but the image produced from an OCT scan slices the cake in half and turns it on its side so we can see all the layers inside.
Our opticians can then map out and measure the thickness of these layers to get a clear idea of your eye health.
Traditional Fundus Test Image
OCT Scan Image
OCT scanning is particularly useful for detecting potentially sight-threatening conditions that generally don’t have any symptoms until they start to have an impact on your vision.
Many of these conditions form at the very back of the eye, associated with changes in the vitreous (the jelly-like substance that fills the eye), retina (the light-sensitive layer at the back of the eye), macula (an area at the centre of the retina responsible for our central vision) and the optic nerve (transmits light impulses to the brain to produce the images we see).
Taking just a few seconds, an OCT scan uses light to take over 1,000 images of the back of your eye and beyond, looking right back to the optic nerve.
A layered image is created that gives us an incredibly accurate picture of your eye and its structures, allowing us to check your eye health. The images will then be stored so we can note changes over time.
A charge may apply so please speak to your local store about this when booking your appointment.
Yes – while both the diabetic screening check and OCT involve taking images of the back of the eye, there are significant differences.
Diabetic checks involve a fundus picture – this is an image of the surface of the back of the eye (the retina). OCT images allow us to look at the many layers beneath the surface of the retina, which helps us to spot changes to eye health earlier than just looking at the surface.
OCT scans also help in the detection of a range of other eye problems, not just those that are linked to diabetes.
Not at all – it’s a quick, painless procedure.
An OCT scan takes a matter of seconds and your optician will go through the results with you during your eye examination.
OCT scans are recommended for anyone aged 25 or older. It’s really helpful for your optician to take readings and track them every time you come in and see us in order to best safeguard your eye health.
Yes – as well as checking for a range of eye conditions that may not be under review at the hospital, it will provide an up to date appraisal of your eye health. Your optician does not usually have access to the results from your hospital examinations and the scan will give a more rounded analysis of your eye health.
No, it’s very different from having an MRI. It’s more like having a photograph taken of your eye, you simply sit in a chair and look into the OCT device for a matter of seconds. You don’t have to lie down like an MRI scan.
Yes – even if your results show your eyes are healthy, it’s really valuable for your optician to compare and track any changes in your OCT scans over time.
None. OCT uses a completely safe laser light source, so there are no side effects or risks associated with an OCT procedure.