When visiting an optometrist, it is not uncommon to hear them recommend an OCT scan to diagnose a problem. However, few people know what it is and how it works. Let’s figure it out together.
OCT cirrus photo 600 is a modern method for diagnosing ophthalmic diseases. The powerful device allows you to visualize various problems of the eye and optic nerves for diagnosing diseases and prescribing treatment.
What is OCT
Optical coherence tomography, or OCT for short, is a digital eye examination that provides a three-dimensional image of the light-receiving part of the eye, the retina. The image reflects a cross section of the retina.
Operating principles of OCT
The principle of operation is similar to ultrasound. The study allows you to examine the internal structures of the eye in real time. The difference between OCT and ultrasound lies in the type of waves used – light waves work here instead of ultrasound. Light waves allow you to scan the retina and get a detailed image.
How is the OCT procedure performed
The duration of the scan is 10 minutes. Don’t worry – there will be no discomfort or pain during the examination. To begin with, the patient must fix his chin on a special ledge and keep his eyes on the image inside the apparatus.
When may pupillary dilation be needed
Pupil dilation is an optional step in OCT. This is an additional measure that the ophthalmologist can apply for a more detailed study based on indications, medical history, etc. Pupil dilation is achieved by instilling drops into the eyes. A special substance allows the pupils to enlarge and expand, which provides a better view. After instillation of drops and pupil dilation, slight discomfort and photophobia may occur. If the patient came to the examination by car, he will be able to get home, however, sunglasses should not be neglected.
Benefits of OCT
OCT has many advantages. Here are just a few of them:
- Non-invasive. Without causing harm and pain, the ophthalmologist can obtain a detailed image of the retina.
- Allows you to identify the problem at an early stage. OCT is a fairly sensitive research method that allows you to identify the disease in the early stages and prevent its development. It also allows timely start of treatment and increase its effectiveness.
- Helps track the progress of the disease.
- Effective for diagnosing eye diseases in children.
- Allows for differential diagnosis with other diseases and to identify changes in multiple sclerosis, diabetes mellitus, hypertension, etc.
How to know if a patient needs an OCT
Whether a patient needs OCT or not can only be judged by the attending physician. General recommendations for this study are as follows:
- Age over 50 years.
- High risk of eye diseases.
- The presence of concomitant diseases, such as hypertension, diabetes mellitus, atherosclerosis, etc.
Thanks to such a simple examination as OCT, it is possible to easily diagnose even serious diseases in the early stages and start effective treatment with good results in the future.
What diseases can be detected with OCT
Age-related macular degeneration
OCT allows you to determine the accumulation of protein, slowing blood flow, vascular anomalies, bleeding, etc.
The examination allows you to identify changes in the optic nerve and disc. In addition, OCT can also detect glaucoma in the early stages, without obvious signs and changes in the tissues.
Retinopathy due to diabetes
Diabetes mellitus affects all vessels in the body, including the vessels of the eye, which reduces visual acuity and contributes to other problems.
Also, OCT allows you to diagnose other problems, such as:
- Tears and detachment of the retina;
- The appearance of cysts;
- Macular holes and folds;
- Macular edema;
- Central retinopathy, etc.
Various degenerative and inflammatory diseases can be diagnosed with OCT, which allows your doctor to detect changes in time and prescribe timely treatment.