When you want what's best for your eyes, it's important to visit your optometrist regularly. One part of an eye exam that you should get familiar with is the optical coherence tomography (OCT) exam.
If you're wondering what this exam is and why it's so necessary, we've got you covered. Keep reading to learn more about what an OCT exam is and how it can diagnose specific eye issues.
WHAT IS AN OCT EXAM AND HOW DOES IT WORK?
When you visit the eye doctor, they may suggest additional testing depending on your age and health status. An OCT offers very important information for diagnosing early eye diseases that could otherwise go undetected. Early diagnosis is always the best option for saving your vision.
Not all optometrists offer this technology however it is mostly standard care in ophthalmology clinics because the information is so valuable in diagnosing and treating eye diseases. Health focused eye care clinics will offer this test to you and it is beneficial for so many reasons.
Lastly, keep in mind how often you use your eyes and how precious they are every part of your day. Knowing that you could detect, diagnose and treat eye disease before they cause vision loss could be a life changer for you. Ask your optometrist if they offer OCT and treat your eyes to something you will not later regret not doing.
During an OCT exam, your optometrist will have you rest your chin on the OCT machine’s chin rest and look through a viewing lens. The machine typically produces a dot or a small picture that you will be instructed to stare at.
As you look at this target, the optometrist will use the machine to take digital images of your eyes. It's a pain-free, non-invasive procedure that is part of an annual eye exam.
WHAT DISEASES OR CONDITIONS CAN IT DIAGNOSE?
When the optometrist gets images of your eyes, they can use them to diagnose all sorts of potential issues. Here are a few of the diseases and problems that the OCT exam can catch:
Glaucoma is an issue that more than 400,000 Canadians currently live with. With this disease, the very small nerves that exit the optic nerve are damaged. Most people with glaucoma have no symptoms. The OCT is an excellent test to provide early diagnosis to prevent permanent vision loss, and regular OCT testing is necessary to treat glaucoma.
It's important to catch glaucoma because of this severity, and because it is an issue that everyone is at risk for.
Macular degeneration refers to a type of retina damage that can hinder your vision. It makes it difficult for you to make out details.
Many people deal with age-related macular degeneration (AMD) after years of wear and tear on their eyes. The risk increases with age. The OCT is very important for early diagnosis and treatment and is used to determine dry from wet AMD. Wet AMD can be treated to prevent and postpone vision loss.
Retinal Detachment and Retinal Holes
People who see floaters and or flashes may have a retinal detachment or holes, however very often there can be no symptoms. Retinal detachments and holes if detected and treated early can provide complete vision recovery, however it is critical to diagnose and treat them ASAP. The OCT is important for diagnosis and treatment of retinal hole and retinal detachment.
We usually see with two eyes and you can be unaware that one eye is not seeing as well as previously. You may think the changes in your vision are because you need to update your glasses.
The OCT can detect macular holes, that may otherwise go untreated, to prevent permanent vision loss and deterioration.
TALK TO YOUR OPTOMETRIST ABOUT AN EXAM
Let these tips help and inform you so that you can take the next steps toward getting an OCT exam. These issues can lead to serious vision problems, but thankfully, getting a timely exam can identify them so that you can get the right treatment.
At Bellemore Optometry, we invest in technology like Optical Coherence Tomography so that we can help you detect eye diseases like glaucoma and perform comprehensive eye exams in Windsor and Tecumseh. Our optometrists and staff are committed to providing high-quality eye care services and products to patients of all ages. Contact us today to schedule an appointment with our experienced optometrists dedicated to your eye and vision health.