3D Oct

Seeing beneath 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 monitor the eye, particularly the ten layers of the retina.

During a standard Onlookers eye examination a photograph of the retina is taken. This is the view an Optometrist has when they look through your pupil into the back of your eye, they can see the surface, the first layer of the retina.

A 3D-OCT scan is similar to an ultrasound, but using light waves rather than sound waves, to show the different layers comprising the back of the eye. With 3D-OCT we can look beyond the single surface shown in a photograph, and see all 10 layers of the retina in cross-section. We can use this to detect anything unusual and arrange further investigation if required.

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 visible during an eye examination. Early detection can lead to quicker treatment and a better outcome.

Your results are saved to your personal record, so having the scan repeated on future visits means we can compare past and present results, to see whether there are any changes. Using the OCT machine we are able to accurately diagnose, manage or refer you on for further treatment if 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 almost anyone, however we particularly recommend it if you:

  • Are over 40 years of age.
  • Have a family history of eye conditions such as glaucoma, or diabetes.
  • Have any ocular condition which requires monitoring.

Some of the eye conditions identifiable through OCT screening include:

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

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

A normal fundus or retinal photo

Normal scan

Fluid under retina