OCT scanning is great at confirming that your eyes are healthy and can be repeated over time for comparison. This makes it 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, and OCT allows your optician to identify subtle changes over time, such as 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.
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) also known as digital retinal photography. 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.
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Ask to have one when you come in for an eye test
Make a request for an OCT scan when you book an eye test online in the special requirements box
An OCT scan is in addition to your normal eye test. This service is currently available in nearly 700 stores with more rolling out each month. Find your nearest store below. Charge applies. Ask your store for details.
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Not at all – it’s a quick, painless procedure. Just like having a photo taken.
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.
None. OCT uses a completely safe laser light source, so there are no side effects or risks associated with an OCT procedure.