Heidelberg Spectralis 4D OCT Scan
Heidelberg Spectralis 4D OCT Scan
This phenomenal machine and incredible computer technology combined with the experience and knowledge of our specialist optometrists; allows us to diagnose so many more eye conditions at the earliest possible stage.
What is OCT?
An Optical Coherence Tomography Scan, more commonly known as an OCT scan, is a medical imaging technique that uses light to generate a detailed three-dimensional view of the different layers of your eye. It is a fast, completely painless and incredibly accurate way for our specialists to see beyond the surface of your eye. Just like a CT scan allows doctors to see a 3D view of the inside of your body, an OCT allows our optometrists to examine every layer of your eyes, in very fine detail. Which then, in turn, assists in diagnosing a multitude of eye conditions at the earliest possible stage.
What happens during an OCT?
The SPECTRALIS 4D OCT Scan is fast, non-intrusive and does not present a bright flash of light or a puff of air. You simply sit down, pop your chin on the chin rest, and the eye is scanned in just a few seconds. You can blink normally, and as nothing touches your eye, there is no discomfort. Following the scan, your optometrist will then discuss your results, showing you the images whilst clearly explaining their findings.
What conditions does an OCT scan help to diagnose?
The SPECTRALIS OCT scanner assists our specialist optometrists in detecting and diagnosing a multitude of eye conditions at the earliest possible stage. It is also ideal for the management and maintenance of pre-existing eye conditions, such as glaucoma and age-related macular degeneration (AMD).
Often called “the thief of sight”, glaucoma is a hereditary disease that affects your peripheral vision. One in two people with glaucoma don’t even know they have the disease until it has reached an advanced, and irreversible, stage. This is because your brain compensates for the blind spots in your vision by filling in the gaps. Unfortunately, this results in either ‘seeing things’ that are not there or missing the things that actually are.
Age-Related Macular Degeneration (AMD)
AMD is the biggest cause of sight loss in the UK, affecting over 600,000 people. AMD affects your central vision and comes in different forms that have various symptoms and different rates of progression. If AMD progresses, simple activities like driving, watching TV and even recognising faces becomes impossible. SPECTRALIS OCT scans allow our specialist optometrists to detect and monitor any change and help limit the severity of the disease.
Diabetes is a serious disease that can cause irreversible sight loss. When blood sugar levels are poorly controlled, the blood vessels of the eye become damaged, causing them to leak fluid; this is known as diabetic retinopathy. Regular SPECTRALIS OCT scans allow us to detect any fluid or damage to blood vessels as soon as it starts.
Research shows that by the age of 60, half of us will have some degree of cataract, resulting in the clouding of the lens, a reduction in clarity and impaired colour definition.
SPECTRALIS OCT scans allow our optometrists to monitor both the development of the cataract as well as the measurement of contrast sensitivity function. A far more useful measure of visual function in cataracts.
Who should have an OCT Scan?
Ideally, every patient should have this test on every visit as it is the most precise, most accurate way to see any changes in the eye no matter how small. But those who have been diagnosed or have a family history of eye conditions; this is an essential part of your health check as it can reveal changes in the eye of which you may be unaware. Perfect vision does not mean perfect eye health. Many conditions remain hidden until it is too late, and you begin having vision problems. If problems with your vision arise, this can often mean that significant damage to your eye has already occurred, and this damage may be irreversible. Including a SPECTRALIS OCT scan in your eye examination assists in early detection, therefore, allowing for early treatment and a better outcome for patients.
What makes the Heidelberg SPECTRALIS® 4D OCT different?
Only by having the most advanced diagnostic equipment can we provide early detection, monitoring and treatment of eye diseases such as glaucoma, macular degeneration and diabetes. We have invested in the SPECTRALIS 4D OCT eye scanner, as it is the instrument of choice for retinal specialists. Unlike retinal colour photographs and other 3-D eye scanners available, SPECTRALIS adds the fourth dimension, allowing us to monitor change over time to 1/1000 of a millimetre in exactly the same place at every visit. The SPECTRALIS 4D OCT uses a patented eye-tracking system that produces 3- dimensional images of the eye, allowing us to identify those at risk of eye disease more easily. The tracking system allows the scanner to be placed in exactly the same place on every visit, giving a true 4D view of change over time. This helps reveal eye disease, which may not yet be noticeable or detectable with a traditional visual exam.