Optical Coherence Tomography (OCT)

We can now offer top of the range Optical Coherence Tomography (OCT) in the practice.

OCT is a highly advanced technology used for retinal imaging and analysis. Up until recently, its use has principally been confined to hospital clinics.

With a standard eye examination, your optometrist can only see the outward appearance of the retina, which looks something like this:

With an OCT examination, however, we can see the structures behind the retina which would otherwise be invisible. We can generate images like these:

The procedure is completely non invasive - no contact with the eye is involved. Using laser light, OCT provides highly detailed images of the retina and optic nerve. These images can be rendered in 3D, allowing your optometrist to fully appreciate the underlying retinal structures and to look for any abnormalities or unusual variations.

OCT offers enhanced diagnosis and monitoring of many ocular conditions, including:

  • Glaucoma
  • Retinal detatchment
  • Macular degeneration
  • Diabetic retinopathy

Even if you do not have any pathology, it can give us advance warning of any possible future problems that would otherwise be undetected with traditional methods. This can give you peace of mind if, for instance, you have a family history of hereditary conditions such as glaucoma. Data from each visit will be recorded so we can detect the smallest of changes when you next come to see us.

The equipment can also be used to examine the anterior segment of the eye, where the frontal structures such as the cornea and iris can be studied in minute detail. This can be especially useful in cases of corneal pathology and closed angle glaucoma. Here, more detailed information can be obtained than with traditional instruments such as a slit lamp.

We use the high-end "Spectralis" system from Heidelberg Engineering. The image quality and scan accuracy/repeatabilty is the best currently available, so it can be relied upon for effective diagnosis and monitoring.
Read testimonials about the instrument here (external site)

Please note that OCT is beyond the remit of the free NHS eye examination, and so
a £40 private fee will apply for each consultation. We'll only recommend it to you if we feel that it will be of benefit given your history and symptoms.