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What is OCT?

OCT imaging

Warden Optometry eye doctors use OCT to see your eyes in a deeper layer.

Optical coherence topography is an imaging device your optometrist uses to view the detailed nerve tissue at the back of your eye. The retina is a thin nerve tissue comprised of several layers. This lines the inside of your eye and collects light. These light signals are then transmitted to the brain where images of the world are perceived. 

If there is any disruption in this nerve tissue, vision would be affected if this distortion is located centrally. Between the layers of the retina, certain conditions can result in bleeding, fluid build-up or deposits within these tissues. By using OCT, your doctor is able to view these disruptions early. 

This is especially recommended for those who have diabetes, high blood pressure, family with risk of stroke, and those with a family history of eye problems. As you may, people don’t experience pain in most stages of their diabetes, high blood pressure and prior to stroke. Diabetes can cause bleeding and leaking of the fluids at the back of the eye. If bleeding is detected at the back of the eye, it is likely that bleeding is also occurring elsewhere such as the kidneys. This information can then be sent to the family doctor to ensure one’ circle of care is informed on how to care for the overall systemic health. 

The instrument produces highly detailed images of the retina and is the first and only instrument that can see below the surface of the retina to examine the retinal layers. Furthermore, results from follow-up examinations can be compared to previous examinations at a level of accuracy unparalleled by conventional means.

The OCT is not a treatment laser and is not harmful to the eye (it operates similar to an ultrasound or radar, except that light is used rather than acoustic or radio waves). It is non-invasive and never touches your eye. The test is safe and takes moments to complete: patients focus on a target light without blinking or moving for several seconds while the photograph is being taken.

Through these technological advances, your optometrist is able to detect, manage and treat early disease to ensure clear vision and health eyes before any visual symptoms are noticed. 

Written by Dr. Rachel Ng 
Markham Optometrist
www.WardenOptometry.ca
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