Specsavers in Hereford has 3D scanning technology available which allows optometrists to view the eye in more detail than ever before.

The Optical Coherence Tomography (OCT) machine is a cutting-edge piece of equipment, usually found in hospital eye departments. It is used for a variety of functions including screening and management of conditions such as age-related macular degeneration, glaucoma and diabetic retinopathy.

More detailed picture

The technology produces a structural scan of the of the eye, including layers of the eye that would not normally be visible using traditional eye testing techniques. The results are similar to an ultrasound or MRI scan, in that it creates multiple scan slice images that are built up to form a total image. The OCT machine uses a safe, laser light source and not x-ray-type radiation.

Store director Nialle Smith said: ‘The technology gives our team the ability to enhance the services to the local community by identifying and helping to detect or manage conditions, with a level of diagnostic capability which previously would have needed a hospital visit.

‘OCT technology produces such a detailed picture of the structures in the eye that it allows us to identify signs of diseases years earlier than traditional methods. Given that nearly half of all sight loss is preventable, the sooner we can detect these conditions, the sooner we can help manage them or refer people for treatment.’

Monitoring overall eye health

The scan is in addition to a thorough eye test, during which the optometrist uses a range of clinical tests and procedures to measure the quality of someone’s vision, as well as taking an overview of the health and function of their eyes and how they work together. The OCT scan takes just a few seconds and is non-contact and painless.

A customer’s OCT images will be stored on file so we can help note changes over time – a real benefit to the monitoring of someone’s overall eye health.

An OCT scan can be requested when the appointment is booked or when the customer arrives in store. The cost of this scan (£10) is in addition to the eye test and not covered by the NHS examination.

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