Optical Coherence Tomography (OCT) for eye exams

Among the many tests Tower Clock Eye Center uses to provide the best eye care is Optical Coherence Tomography, or OCT. This test is crucial to determine the eye’s health as it relates to several structures that comprise the eye, including the cornea, retina and optic nerve. OCT scans also provide eye doctors information about the presence and development of specific eye diseases such as glaucoma, age-related macular degeneration and diabetic eye disease.

Optical Coherence Tomography OCT, scan

How does OCT work?

Similar to how ultrasound works, OCT functions by using light waves to produce 3-D color coded cross-section images of the eye. It’s safe, non-invasive and allows our doctors to see the eye’s many components without harming tissue.

When taking an OCT exam, your doctor often uses dilating eye drops to open your pupil more, allowing for an easier examination. These drops are not always required but are common.

As a patient, you will comfortably sit in front of the OCT machine and rest your chin on the support. It’s important to keep your head still. As the machine scans you will experience some bright flashing lights, but nothing touches your eye and the entirety of the exam takes between 5 and 10 minutes.

If you had your eyes dilated, know they will be sensitive to light for a few hours following your exam.

Which eye conditions can it help diagnose?

OCT is useful in diagnosing many eye conditions, including, but not limited to:

  • Age-related macular degeneration
  • Glaucoma
  • Diabetic retinopathy
  • Scleral contact lens fits
  • Macular hole
  • Retinal detachment

When do I need an OCT scan?

For patients at high risk for developing specific eye diseases, we recommend Optical Coherence Tomography exams as part of your annual exam. Having a yearly exam allows your Tower Clock Eye Center doctor to compare previous scans for any abnormalities developing in the retinal layers, optic nerve and other eye structures.

To schedule an appointment with us, please call 920 499-3102.

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