We are excited to announce the addition of the Maestro OCT 2 to Bechthold Jensen Eye Care.
OCT stands for Ocular Coherence Tomography. It is a special way to view the structures of the eye. It uses light waves to take a cross sectional picture of the retina.
Why is this scan important? When we dilate the eye to see inside, we can only see the surface of the retina. Some conditions can be difficult if not impossible to detect without scanning through the tissue.
Many retinal conditions can be detected and monitored with OCT scans. Macular degeneration is best followed with this technology. The drusen or waste products in the retina can be viewed and quantified, and, if any swelling or new blood vessel growth occurs (changing dry macular degeneration into wet) this is easily detected with an OCT. Treatment for wet macular degeneration is most successful when it is started early in the disease process. Retinal changes from diabetes can be detected with an OCT, as well as side effects from certain medications, including plaquenil.
OCT is also very useful in diagnosing and treating glaucoma. Glaucoma occurs when the pressure in the eye is too high. The nerve fiber layer in the retina is the layer that is damaged by increased eye pressure. When the nerve fiber layer dies, peripheral vision is lost. The OCT measures the nerve fiber layer. The OCT can tell us 30% sooner than our other tests if someone has glaucoma. It also allows us to follow the disease very closely and ensure that the treatment is effective.
The front structures of the eye can be imaged by the OCT as well. The angle of the eye, where the iris and cornea meet, can become narrowed over time. If the angle becomes too narrow it is difficult for fluid to drain out of the eye, causing “narrow angle” glaucoma. The OCT can image these structures easily. OCT scans also tell us about the health of the cornea, and corneal thickness.
You may have read about the new advances in using OCT to measure nerve fiber layer and macular thickness in relation to dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. So far, the results have been convincing there is a link between thinning of the eye tissue and diagnosis of these diseases. More needs to be learned about how to quantify and use the information, but it is obvious that OCT technology is a very useful tool for many things.
An OCT scan is a good idea for everyone to ensure eye health. Even if you are not noticing any changes in your vision, a screening scan can quickly and painlessly assess your eye health. Medical insurance covers the cost of having the OCT scan done if you have a medical condition that requires it. But, if you would prefer to have the scan done just to be on the safe side, it is a service you can pay cash for as well.
Call us today to set up an eye exam, and to learn more about the OCT and your eye health.