A normal fundus or retinal photo

Normal Scan

Fluid under retina

the surface is essential to the health of your eyes
... 3D OCT - Enhanced Retinal Scan

OCT stands for Optical Coherence Tomography and is the latest technology used to measure the eye and particularly the layers of the retina.

During a standard Onlookers eye examination a fundus or retinal photo is taken, this is the view an optometrist gets when they look through your pupil into the back of your eye, they only see the surface, the first layer of the retina.

How is this different to other technology?

A 3D OCT scan is similar to an ultrasound, except that it uses light waves rather than sound waves, to show the different layers which make up the back of the eye. With 3D OCT, we can look beyond that single surface, enabling us to see all 10 layers of the retina in cross-section. We can then use this to detect anything unusual and investigate further.

How will I benefit from an OCT?

Many eye conditions can be identified through having an OCT scan. Being able to see ‘through’ the layers of the retina means we can pick up any anomalies or changes in your eyes that wouldn’t normally be seen during a routine eye examination. Earlier detection can often lead to quicker treatment and a better outcome.

Each scan is saved to your personal record, so having this repeated on future visits means we can compare and analyse all past and present results, to see if there are any changes. Using the OCT machine we are able to accurately diagnose, manage or refer you on for further treatment should this be required. For the majority of patients, OCT provides valuable reassurance that the deeper layers of their eye are healthy.

What happens when I have a scan?

The scan is very simple, takes just a few seconds and is completely non-contact; there are no sudden puffs of air, and only a small flash of light.

Who should have an OCT scan?

The OCT can be carried out on all ages, however we recommend particularly for the following patients:

  • Who are over 40yrs of age
  • Who have a family history of eye conditions such as glaucoma, AMD, Diabetes
  • Who have ocular conditions which require monitoring

Some of the eye conditions identifiable through OCT screening include:

  • Macular degeneration
  • Diabetes
  • Glaucoma
  • Macula holes
  • Vitreous detachments

An OCT scan is not covered under an NHS test, therefore there is a small charge for this service.