The health of your eyes matters to you and it matters to us too, which is why we are offering OCT to all our patients. OCT is a new, completely painless and highly advanced screening system that checks for potentially serious conditions such as glaucoma, diabetes, age-related macular degeneration, vitreous detachments and more.
What is OCT?
Ocular Coherence Tomography or OCT is an advanced eye scan suitable for people of all ages. Similar to ultrasound, OCT uses light waves rather that sound waves to see beneath the surface of the eye. It allows your Dr. Price Kowaleski to see the different layers which make up the back of the eye.
The Scientific Stuff
Using a 3D OCT camera, Dr. Price Kowaleski can simultaneously take a digital photograph and a 3D cross section scan of the back of your eye. This allows us to instantly diagnose a number of common conditions. The scan is non-invasive, painless and can be completed in 60 seconds or less.
What can the scan check for?
Common conditions identified through regular OCT screening include:
- Age-Related Macular Degeneration
Macular degeneration causes the gradual breakdown of the macular (the central portion of the eye.) OCT cannot only identify this condition and its type (there are two types, wet and dry) but also monitor its progress. Unfortunately the risk of developing macular degeneration increases with age, and it is the most common cause of vision loss in individuals over the age of fifty.
Diabetic retinopathy is a major cause of visual impairment among adults. OCT examination enables early detection, which greatly improves the success rate of treatment.
Glaucoma damages the optic nerve at the point where it leaves the eye. The danger with chronic glaucoma is theat there are no symptoms. An OCT examination will confirm if you are at risk, or what stage of glaucoma you may have.
- Macular Holes
A macular hole is a small hole in the macula – the part of the retina which is responsible for our sharp, detailed, central vision. Once cause of a macular hole is vitreous detachment, when the vitreous pulls away from the back of the eye and does not ‘let go’ and eventually tears the retina, leaving a hole. Extreme exposure to sunlight (for instance staring at the sun during an eclipse) can also cause a macular hole to develop.
- Vitreous Detachments
Vitreomacular traction can easily be diagnosed using OCT. As we age, the vitreous jelly that takes up the space in our eye can change. It can become less firm and move away from the back of the eye towards the center. In some cases, parts do not detach causing a ‘pulling’ of the retinal surface. The danger of a vitreous detachment is that there is no pain and your eyesight may seem unchanged but the back of your eye may be damaged.