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Who Should Get an Optical Coherence Tomography (OCT) Scan?

Who Should Get an Optical Coherence Tomography (OCT) Scan?

Who Should Get an Optical Coherence Tomography (OCT) Scan?

Who Should Get an Optical Coherence Tomography (OCT) Scan?

In a comprehensive eye exam, an eye doctor performs several eye tests. Each focuses on a specific portion of the eye or visual function. If you have had eye exams before, you are probably aware of all the standard tests an eye doctor performs. However, you may not have seen or heard of the optical coherence tomography scan.

The OCT is a specialized test that takes high-definition, cross-sectional pictures of the retina. It is a complex and critical device that eye doctors use to diagnose specific eye conditions. It is essential when it comes to conditions that require an early diagnosis. Many severe eye conditions usually develop gradually and manifest no symptoms. This test helps ensure the eye doctor detects them early. 


What Is the Optical Coherence Tomography Scan?


This scan is a test that helps in the diagnosis of conditions that affect the retina. The device produces high-quality, colored pictures of the retina. It uses a radiation-free laser to generate the images. The images from the device are color-coded to allow for easier and more accurate analysis. It also helps the eye doctor measure the retina's thickness and identify abnormalities. 


What Does It Help Diagnose?


Your eye doctor may use the OCT scan if they suspect you have one of the following conditions:

  • Glaucoma

Glaucoma is a severe condition that often leads to blindness if not treated early. The disease often develops from the buildup of pressure in the eye. The pressure often leads to damage to the optic nerve, resulting in blindness. It usually only presents symptoms once it is much more advanced. 

  • Age-related Macular Degeneration

AMD is a progressive eye condition that mainly affects people over 50. It causes the loss of central vision due to the deterioration of the macula. Early detection is vital in its management and preservation of eyesight.

  • Diabetic Retinopathy

This is one of the most common eye conditions that affect people with diabetes. Diabetes often leads to the deterioration of the blood vessels in the eye, leading to leakage of fluids into the eye. At this stage, you will usually have blurry vision. If the condition is severe, your retina may detach from the back part of the eye, and glaucoma may also develop. All these can lead to blindness. 

  • Cystoid Macular Edema

The macula is the section of the retina responsible for central vision. It has the bulk of the light-sensitive cells in the eye. This condition affects this eye part by causing it to swell up with fluid. Detection is only possible using a retinal scan done with the OCT.


What to Expect in an OCT Scan


The OCT utilizes light waves to create images of the back section of the eye. It works like ultrasound that uses sound waves to create images. The test is noninvasive and is electronic. You will rest your chin on a support and fix your gaze on a green spot. Meanwhile, the OCT scans both of your eyes. You may notice a red line crossing your vision during the scan.

For more on who should get an optical coherence tomography (OCT) scan, visit Patel Vision Group in Fresno, California. Call (559) 229-7955 to book an appointment today.

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