OCT Imaging Questions With Lakeside Vision and Optical, Your Plano Eye Doctors
Q) Please describe what the OCT is used for and give a basic sense of how it works.
A) The OCT is a digital image of the optic nerve head and the macular area of the retina.
Q) What types of eye diseases and disorders can be discovered?
A) Specifically, the OCT is an excellent tool for following patients with glaucoma or anything that affects the optic nerve head and for assessing macular structures and following changes associated with macular degeneration. It is also possible to visualize the vitreous base and determine if there is any traction between the vitreous and retinal structures.
Q) What is it about this particular technology that you find most exciting; the component that made you feel you need to invest in this for your Plano eye care practice?
A) The clarity of imaging and the fact that we can see both the optic nerve and the macula with one instrument was a determining factor in choosing OCT over other instrumentation. With patients who may have changes over time, as in glaucoma, the instrument makes note of those small incremental changes for us.
Q) Can you describe the patient experience when using the OCT?
The OCT is similar to most of our instrumentation for the patient perspective. The patient must view a target while the instrument takes a reading. There is no pain or discomfort.
Q) Do the patients that walk through your doors day in and day out, appreciate the upgrade in technology?
A) Keeping abreast of technology has become expected by our patient base, we endeavor to offer a thorough exam and ensure that we have provided our patients quality care and helpful information about their eye health. The OCT allows the patient to view their structures in the eye exam room with the eye doctor.
Q) How does this technology improve comprehensive eye exams compared to the days when we did not have an OCT in the optometric office?
A) With the OCT, we can visualize the layers of the retina. They can also be visualized in 3D imaging. The technology allows us to track changes over time.
Q) To what patients do you recommend using the OCT?
A) I recommend OCT for any patient with optic nerve head pathology, Such as glaucoma, or macular pathology, such as macular degeneration. However, anyone who presents to the office with decreased vision and a prescription change does not improve vision, should have further testing to rule out pathology. OCT is one of the tools that can help your Plano eye doctor determine the health status of retinal structures.
Q) Can you share a particular story in which, by using the OCT, you were able to detect and treat a disease that would have otherwise gone undetected?
A) I recently had a young man of about 35 come in complaining of decreased vision in one eye with an onset of 1-2 weeks. He stated that his vision appeared grayish or less bright. OCT was one of the tests we ran that very clearly showed swelling in the macular area He was able to sit in the exam chair and see how the macula in the affected eye was obviously different than the one in the right eye. It is not only a great diagnostic tool, but a great educational tool for patients.