OCT has become the single most useful diagnostic tool in ophthalmology for evaluating the structure of the macula and optic nerve. Since many retinal diseases involve the macula, this assessment has become essential in treating retinal diseases such as macular degeneration, diabetic retinopathy, and retinal vein occlusions.
At Perth Retina we offer OCT testing with the Heidelberg SPECTRALIS®. This machine is widely recognised by ophthalmologists as the gold-standard for macular assessment, providing detailed resolution of the macula down to as little as 7 micrometeres. The OCT examination provides information about the condition of the different layers of the macula, or the optic nerve. The examination is completely painless and is done without touching the eye.
The OCT can detect early onset signs of retinal conditions such as macular hole, macular oedema, diabetic retinopathy, and age-related macular degeneration. This allows for earlier treatment for these conditions, which may improve the success rate of the treatment.
At the start, you will be seated directly in front of the instrument. During the entire test, you will keep your head still with your chin resting on the chin rest and your head firmly against the instrument’s head band. You can blink normally. It takes a few minutes to acquire the images.
When the examination begins, a blue cross will appear in the instrument. You will be asked to stare at the centre of the blue cross during the entire examination. The examiner will move the instrument toward your eye without touching you. At a safe distance from the eye, the examiner is able to produce a good image of your retina or optic nerve head. A safe light beam scans the most important structures.
After the examination
After the examination, your vision will not be impaired. If your eyecare professional has not dilated your pupil to conduct the OCT test or another examination, you can drive as usual.
Are there any side effects of OCT testing?
The OCT is a non-invasive technology. It allows for the imaging of the retina without even touching the eye. The only discomfort you may feel is a flash of light when the OCT records the scan of your eye. The testing takes only a few minutes and the results are available immediately, which allows the treating ophthalmologist to discuss the results with you and to provide the best treatment possible for your condition.