Optical coherence tomography (OCT) is an established medical imaging technique that uses light to capture micrometer-resolution, three-dimensional images from within optical scattering media (e.g., biological tissue) It works similar to ultrasound but uses light instead of sound. It is used to image and measure the tissue structures of the eye.
The OCT can create cross sectional and 3D views of the macula, the optic nerve, and other areas of the retina. It can also image the cornea. By getting extreme close-ups of ocular tissue, we can detect disease in at earlier and take the appropriate measures to deal with it. In addition to better views, the OCT can measure thicknesses, and compare these measurements with norms that have been established which can also be used to differentiate disease from normal.
The OCT is useful in diagnosing and following glaucoma, borderline glaucoma, dry and wet macular degeneration, macular edema, diabetic macular edema, optic nerve edema, vitreous detachment, retinal detachment, retinal layer separation, and macular holes. It is also useful in diagnosing and following corneal dystrophies such as keratoconus as well as working with complicated contact lens cases.
Having an OCT test is very simple. The patient places their chin onto a chinrest and is instructed to look at a blue light. In a few seconds, the OCT gets all the images needed. In fact, the RTVue can accomplish 26,000 scans each second. We recommend using the OCT for patients with glaucoma or when we suspect glaucoma, when a patient has dry macular degeneration, and especially when a patient has diabetes. We also use it if a patient has poor vision that cannot be explained by cataracts or helped by changing their glasses.