OCT Screening: A Clearer View

Since 2015 we have offered OCT scans for customers in order to support our mission of providing superior eye care at both our practices.

Just like an iceberg, much of your eye can’t be seen from a regular eye examination. OCT scanners have changed this and using this technology we can now get a really good view of far more of your eye. If you’re wondering what an OCT scanner is and how it works, this article should answer your questions.

What is OCT screening?

OCT stands for Ocular Coherence Tomography. This is a non-invasive imaging process which allows your optometrist to get a better view of your eye. Using light instead of sound waves, it illustrates the layers that make up the back of your eye and can capture both a fundus and cross-sectional scan at the same time. What’s more, the images provided are 25 times clearer than other imaging technology meaning this gives the very best view of your eye health.

The level of detail provided by this type of screening allows in-depth analysis and measurement of your eye. This can help spot even the slightest hint there might be a problem developing – long before you would experience any symptoms or changes to your vision.

Why screening is so important to your health

Just like dental check-ups, age-related health-checks, smear tests, mammograms and prostate check-ups, you don’t come to your regular eye-test just because you think there is a problem. You come to make sure that your eyes are healthy and there is nothing brewing that might cause problems in the future. OCT screening is an important part of that process.

Think of your eye health screening in just the same way you think about other routine health checks – it gives you peace of mind that there’s nothing to worry about.

If you are already a patient, you will have experienced our incredibly in-depth standard eye test. However, a standard eye test only looks at the surface of the eye. Yet most harmful conditions first present inside the eye and therefore cannot be detected in a standard eye test, at a very early stage.

Pairing your routine examination with the results of your OCT scan aides the early identification of health problems. This means that you can access the most appropriate course of treatment sooner. If you require a referral to a specialist, we can arrange that for you.

The types of conditions that can be identified by an OCT scan include:

  • Age-related Macular degeneration
  • Diabetes
  • Glaucoma
  • Macular holes
  • Vitreous Detachment
  • Cancer

Who should have OCT screening?

OCT screening is suitable for everyone. The process is quick and painless making it suitable for all ages, from children right the way through to the elderly.

In our opinion, an OCT scan is an important part of your overall health screening and therefore a perfectly ‘normal’ scan is just as valuable over time as one that finds a problem. The routine scans are kept on your records and support the identification of changes over time.

Commonly asked questions

How much does it cost?

If you are a member of the Sue Wassall Deluxe Membership plan an annual scan is included in your membership so you will have nothing extra to pay. Non-members should ask for the most up to date price when you call to book your appointment.

How long does it take?

Your routine eye test takes 30 minutes. If you are also going to have an OCT scan, we will allow an additional 30 minutes. Whilst the scan itself only takes a few minutes it is important that you have ample time to discuss the process, the results and any concerns you might have. Our priority is to allow you the time you need. Scan results are available immediately. Your optometrist will talk through the results with you and, if necessary, advise you of anything that needs to be monitored or which requires further treatment.

Will it hurt?

No. The scan is completely non-invasive and doesn’t hurt at all. It is also very quiet, unlike some hospital body scanners that you may have experienced.

How often does it need to be done?

We recommend patients have a scan at each routine eye test.

What are the side effects?

There are no side effects. If you are at all worried about the scan process your optometrist will talk you through the process and show you the equipment beforehand to put your mind at rest.

Find out more

If you would like to find out more about having an OCT scan as part of your routine eye test get in touch to book your appointment. You may also like to ask for details of the Deluxe Membership plan which will cover the cost of your scan as well as offering other valuable benefits like free insurance and member-only discounts on frames, lenses and contact lenses.

To speak to a member of the team, or to book an appointment call 01329 832706 for Wickham and 023 9255 0723 for Lee-on-the-Solent.