Today, the OCT (Optical Coherence Tomography) is an indispensable tool for better eye examination. The OCT gives accurate information about the retina and the macula which are responsible for the delivery of sharp images. With this information your eye doctor can recommend the proper treatment, follow the progress of the disease if any, and assess the effectiveness of the treatment. The test is painless, and quick.
What kind of diseases is the OCT examination important for:
- Age-related macular degeneration
- Fundus lesions caused by diabetes (maculopathy)
- Other types of macular diseases
In the Saint James Eye Clinic we use the newly developed diagnostic device of Zeiss, the Cirrus Photo 800, which is a combined OCT and fundus camera.
The age macular degeneration (AMD)
The age-related macular degeneration is the most common cause of blindness and visual impairment in older adults, over the age of 50 and OCT examination plays a crucial role since it is able to detect any early changes that do not cause any noticeable visual complaints. The macula is a small area of the fundus, and, when intact will ensure clear vision. In advanced macular degeneration cases, the patient can see a dark spot and the patient also loses the ability of reading.
- over 50 years of age
- and the incidence is more common among women and people with blue / green eyes
- Intense prolonged unprotected UV light exposure, and a family history of this disease can also be contributing factors.
While previously there was no medical treatment available, now it is possible to prevent severe visual impairment in certain types of AMD. Early detection is of vital importance, and there are now treatment options that can avoid severe visual impairment. As the patient does not always recognize the initial symptoms, it is very important – especially over 40 and with these risk factors- to undergo a professional eye examination.
Severe visual impairment is often caused by some form of retinal damage that occurs in the macula. This is called diabetic maculopathy where the retina thickens in the macula.
Swelling, bleeding and other abnormalities occur due to chronically impaired blood supply. The process decreases the reading ability and the clear vision. A timely performed eye examination such as the OCT helps to identify the problem and the appropriate treatment can be started on time.
Glaucoma is a chronic, slow-progressive disease in which the number of optic nerve fibers decrease persistently. The destruction of optic nerve fibers causes a decrease in the visual field and permanent damage to the vision. The aim of regular eye examinations for glaucoma patients is to preserve eye functions. Clear vision can only be protected by timely diagnoses and appropriate therapy. A glaucoma patient requires continuous medical eye care. In addition to medication to regulate the eye pressure, regular monitoring by means of computerized visual field tests, fundus examination and OCT are of utmost importance. Attention should also be payed to medical risk factors as well.