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All About Optical Coherence Tomography (OCT)

The OCT is used to image structures of the eye, from the front surface, the cornea, to the back of the eye, the retina, using light to create a high definition image of the microscopic layers of the retina. It is particularly useful in the management and treatment of eye conditions caused by diabetes, hypertension, glaucoma and macular degeneration.

The OCT is helpful for looking at the area of central vision, the macula, by uncovering layers of the retinal tissue not directly observable through conventional viewing. This is particularly important when managing complications from diabetes such as fluid accumulation, high blood pressure or macular degeneration. When conditions are caught early through OCT imaging, treatment is more effective to preserve vision and prevent further complications. The OCT also gives a detailed and quantitative analysis of the optic nerve structure, which carries information from your eye to your brain, which is critical in the early diagnosis and management of glaucoma.

What types of eye diseases and disorders can be discovered with the OCT?

Eye diseases such as complications from diabetes and hypertension, macular degeneration, glaucoma, congenital eye disorders, genetic diseases and many more eye conditions can be discovered using the OCT imaging.

What is so useful about the OCT and how have your patients reacted to it?

The OCT is able to analyze the retina that is 300 micron thick (0.3 millimeters) into layers not visible to the naked eye. Imaging with the OCT is a simple non-invasive imaging procedure that is accepted well by patients.

The patient experience is similar to taking a photograph. The patient will look at a green light for a few seconds and experience a flash of light while the OCT scan is processing. Patients appreciate the non-invasive nature of the imaging process and are amazed at the level of detail revealed through patient education showing the patient all the layers of the retina or analysis of the optic nerve head compared to age normative values.

Patients remark on the thoroughness of the exam and always appreciate new technology from visit to visit. Patients always want the best possible technology for their healthcare especially for their eyes.

This technology improves comprehensive eye exams because it has the ability to detect changes on the structural level that are not visible with conventional methods aids in early detection of eye diseases and has the ability to prevent vision loss.

To what patients do you recommend using the OCT?

We recommend OCT for patients with eye diseases due to diabetes, hypertension, glaucoma or macular degeneration as well as patients with a significant family history of these eye diseases for baseline measurements.

A diabetic patient was examined and showed no obvious signs of any problems.  The OCT test was performed and revealed a slight threatening problem that was able to be treated to preserve his sight.

For more on the OCT and call Dr. Gentile at Sachem Eye Care today!