Optical coherence tomography (OCT)
Optical coherence tomography (OCT) has modernized the clinical practice of ophthalmology. It is a noninvasive(no known side effects or complications) imaging scanning technique which allows your eye specialist to take high-resolution, cross-sectional images of the retina, RNFL (retinal nerve fiber layer) and the optic nerve head. Imaging from the back of your eye, works by using reflected light from a low power laser.
As in Wikipedia “Optical coherence tomography is one of a class of optical tomographic techniques. A relatively recent implementation of optical coherence tomography, frequency-domain optical coherence tomography, provides advantages in signal-to-noise ratio, permitting faster signal acquisition. ”
OCT is advanced technology useful in a wide variety of retinal imaging and analysis, as it gives information about retinal structure and can easily identify the presence of swelling, fluid underneath the retina or distortions in structure. This technology delivers highly detailed images of the retina as well as the optic nerve. These cross-sectional images are viewable in two dimensional (2D) and Three dimensional (3D), allowing for topographical mapping of the eye including macular thickness. It is also useful in the analysis and monitoring of diseases of the optic nerve such as glaucoma. You will have your vision measured, and in most cases drops will be put into your eyes to dilate your pupils. You will then sit for the scanning machine with your chin on a rest to position your head correctly. You will be asked to look at a blinking target and the scans will be taken. The procedure is painless and typically very quick. OCT is also extremely helpful to measure the changes in a patients eyes overtime and can be helpful pre and post-operatively for cataract patients.
Another important characteristic of Optical Coherence Tomography is the ability to remotely access images and data with vendor software. If the product is DICOM (The Digital Imaging and Communications in Medicine) compatible, this information can be input into the Electronical Medical Records (EMR) system to be viewed by various healthcare professionals regardless of location. Regardless of which OCT product chosen, be sure the vendor is reputable and will provide support and service for their product.