An optical coherence tomography (OCT) is a procedure performed to map and measure the thickness of your retina's layers. These measurements are essential to give guidance on the treatment of various retinal diseases, which may include diabetic eye disease or AMD (age-related macular degeneration). The measurements can also help in the treatment of glaucoma, macular hole and epiretinal membrane disorders. The name of the procedure may sound scary, but it is a painless, non-invasive procedure that utilises light to get images of your retina. What does the process involve?
Your optometrists or ophthalmologist puts eye drops in your eye or eyes to make the pupil large. This helps to get a good image as light waves will pass through your pupil. You might wait for the eye drops to do their job for a couple of minutes. It is normal to feel sensitivity from light and for your vision to become blurred. Your eye specialist will inform you of this. It is, therefore, important that you have someone with you to take you back home since it won't be safe for you to drive.
After the elapsed minutes, you will be directed to the machine to take your retina's image where you will rest your chin on a support and look straight ahead. You will be required to stay still for the image to be captured well. There will be a monitor where your eye specialist will be positioned. It does not take long, usually one to five minutes. If you keep moving your head, it will take longer.
Your ophthalmologist will capture the image and examine it to determine treatment options, which he or she will discuss with you.
What Are the Main Advantages of OCT?
OCT can help in the early identification of diseases that might not have been caught. Thus, your prognosis as a patient is improved. This means that you do not have to require treatment to undergo an OCT. During your routine eye check-up, you can communicate with your optometrist to carry out the procedure to rule out any problems.
There are also instances when taking biopsies can be difficult or prove risky. OCT steps in to make everything easy and safe. In some cases, where a biopsy is required, OCT will help map out layers to pinpoint the exact point to get the biopsy from. This helps in reducing the number of times biopsies will be needed.