Ocular Coherence Tomography (OCT) is a diagnostic procedure which utilizes progressive digital technology to scan full color cross-sectional images of the retina, the light-sensitive lining on the back of the eye where light rays focus to produce vision. These digital scans can assist with the detection and treatment of serious eye conditions such as macular holes, macular swelling and optic nerve damage.
OCT uses technology that is similar to CT scans of internal organs, using a scattering of light to rapidly scan the eye to create an accurate cross-section. Unlike other imaging techniques, OCT uses light to produce high resolution images, rather than sound or radiofrequency waves. Your doctor can evaluate and measure each layer of the retina through this image and compare it with normal, healthy images of the retina.
The OCT exam begins after the patient is comfortably seated and positioned face first while relaxing in front of the scanner by an ophthalmic technician. The technician will proceed to obtain a digital scan of each eye which concludes with a color picture of the retina from which to cross reference the finished scan. In the interest of accuracy, the patient will have to focus on a centered projection without blinking for about 30 seconds or less.
The OCT exam generally takes about 5-10 minutes to perform.