Malvern Specsavers has invested in 3D scanning technology which allows optometrists to view the eye in more detail than ever before.
The newly opened store now boasts an Optical Coherence Tomography (OCT) machine, usually found in hospital eye departments.
This cutting-edge piece of equipment is used for a variety of functions including screening and management of conditions such as age-related macular degeneration, glaucoma and diabetic retinopathy.
Scan of the eye
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 totally safe, laser light source and not x-ray-type radiation.
Store director and optometrist Jurgen Dreyer, said: ‘This investment gives our team the ability to enhance the services available 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.’
Minor eye conditions
The store’s optometrists, Jurgen and Dean Roberts, are also accredited to carry out eye health examinations, under local shared care schemes. They work alongside local GPs and the hospital eye service, to help people with minor eye conditions (like dry eye and red eye), review patients with suspected glaucoma or raised eye pressure, conduct post-surgical assessments for cataract patients, and assess children referred by their school vision screening.
They regularly use the OCT machine to give a clear picture of the health of the eye; and agree that it will be very helpful in monitoring health from one examination to another.
The OCT scan takes just a few seconds and is non-contact and painless. Scans are kept on file, so the store can help note changes over time – a real benefit to the monitoring of someone’s overall 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 this scan (£10) is not covered by the NHS examination.