At North County Laser Eye Associates, we are committed to using the most advanced technology in every procedure we perform, including the diagnostic procedures that comprise our comprehensive eye exams. By using technology such as optical coherence tomography, or OCT as it is more popularly known, we are able to detect and identify potential problems with the eyes in their earliest stages, when they are usually easiest to treat. As a result, our eye care professionals can act quickly to preserve our patients ocular health and protect their vision, helping them to maintain their eyesight for a lifetime.
What is optical coherence tomography?
Optical coherence tomography, or OCT, is a scanning system that produces remarkably detailed images of the retina. An OCT system uses light waves rather than sound waves, which create a higher resolution image of the structures located at the back of the eye than more traditional imaging systems.
It might be helpful to think of an OCT system as the eye care equivalent of an MRI machine, except that it allows our professionals to view color-coded, cross-sectional images of the internal structures of the eye. Other imaging systems are limited to displaying the surfaces of these structures. OCT scans produce no radiation and are extremely safe. Patients experience no pain or discomfort. The entire procedure requires only about ten minutes from beginning to end.
Which conditions can OCT scanning help to diagnose?
OCT scanning allows our eye care experts to diagnose virtually any condition involving the retina or optic nerve in their earliest possible stages. These conditions include:
- Diabetic retinopathy and other diabetic retinal diseases
- Retinal pucker
- Wet and dry age-related macular degeneration
Early detection is of paramount importance when it comes to the timely treatment and management of these and other conditions of the eye. For example, while a disease such as glaucoma cannot be cured, it can be effectively managed in its early stages so that its effects on a patient’s vision remain negligible potentially for a lifetime. If left untreated until it begins to produce symptoms, glaucoma will almost certainly result in at least some degree of vision loss.
OCT scanning is just one of several important diagnostic procedures that comprise our comprehensive eye exams. To maintain optimal eye health, you should undergo a comprehensive eye exam every two years as an adult, unless you fall into one of the following groups, in which case you should have a comprehensive eye exam at least once a year or as often as advised by one of our eye care professionals:
- You are over the age of 60
- You have a family history of serious eye disease (such as glaucoma)
- You have diabetes or hypertension
- You take medications that could put your eyes at risk of damage
- You have suffered an eye injury or undergone eye surgery
Learn More about OCT Scans
To learn more about OCT scanning technology, please contact North County Laser Eye Associates today.