Specsavers Kilburn located in Kilburn High Road has invested in state-of-the-art, hospital grade, diagnostic imaging equipment which could identify underlying eye conditions, four years ahead of an ordinary eye test.
The Optical Coherence Tomography system (OCT) which costs in excess of £50,000, is an advanced eye scanning system which helps to detect a number of eye conditions, including age-related macular degeneration, glaucoma and diabetic retinopathy. Similar to ultrasound, this imaging equipment uses light waves to take more than 1,000 images of the back of the eye and beyond, right back to the optic nerve. It then creates a 3D picture from the wave reflections, so the optometrist and patient can see a cross-section of the eye.
The scan provides the optometrist with an incredibly accurate picture of the eye and its structure, which enables them to check the overall health of the eyes.
Specsavers ophthalmic director, Parus Pindoria said: ‘The results of the 3D scan and the way in which the different layers that make up the optic nerve and retina, can be cross-referenced with a digital image of the surface of the eye, allow me to highlight and pinpoint any areas of concern for my patients, and detect conditions of the eye up to 4 years earlier than a traditional digital image.’
Mr Pindoria went on to say: ‘Images taken from an OCT scan are saved on the customer database and can be used to track any changes in patients’ eye health and can be monitored over time.’
According to a study conducted by Specsavers in partnership with the Royal National Institute of Blind People (RNIB), almost half of all eye conditions are preventable. Robin Gurton-Vernieux, Specsavers Kilburn retail director explained: ‘We are thrilled to have the OCT in store, as this investment offers our customers and the local community a level of diagnostic capability which previously would have required a hospital visit. We can identify and help detect or manage conditions sooner.’
It’s important to have regular eye tests as they can reveal any underlying health conditions, such as high blood pressure and diabetes. Mr Pindoria said: ‘We recommend that customers, particularly those aged between 35 and 45 have an eye test every two years, as this can detect any potential changes that may be taking place. The appropriate remedial action can then be recommended. We prefer to take a preventative approach to our customers’ eye health.’
OCT scans are additional to the normal eye test and can be requested when the appointment is booked or when the customer arrives in store. The cost of the OCT scan (£10) is in addition to the eye test and is not covered by an NHS examination.