The Optical Coherence Tomography -OCT Scan uses a state of the art machine that helps in identifying certain eye disease in its very early stages. Common conditions identified through regular OCT screening include:
Age related Macular degeneration causes the gradual breakdown of the RPE layer of retina at the Macula. The retina has 10 layers and an OCT scan can identify defective layer very early in the disease process. An OCT can identify this condition and discriminate between wet and dry disease ARMD. This machine is used to monitor the disease progress if you are undergoing treatment for such a condition.
Unfortunately the risk of developing Macular degeneration increases with age and it is the most common cause of vision loss in individuals over fifty. This scan is a must for everyone over 50 years of age once every two years.
Diabetic Retinopathy is a major cause of visual impairment among adults who have Type-2 Diabetes Mellitus. In Canada, more than 3.3 million people have been diagnosed with Diabetes. An OCT examination enables early detection of Macular Edema which can help reversing the signs by achieving good control of blood sugar levels. The eye is the only organ where we can see live organ changes from Diabetes and hence optometrists recommend yearly retinal screenings for diabetics. If an OCT is done on a regular basis and blood sugar levels remain well-controlled, treatment for Retinopathy like Intra-Oular Injections and Laser applications can be avoided.
Glaucoma damages the optic nerve of the eye which causes irreversible Blindness. This preventable disease affects around 2 in every 100 people over 40 years old. The danger with chronic glaucoma is that there is no pain or any symptoms and your eyesight will seem to be unchanged, but your vision is being damaged without your knowledge. That is why annual comprehensive eye examination with OCT is recommended, OCT scan will confirm if you are at a risk or have Glaucoma.
A Macular hole is a small hole in the Macula-the part of the retina which is responsible for our sharp, detailed, central vision. This is the vision we use when we are looking directly at things, when reading, sewing or using the computer. There are many causes of Macular holes. One is caused by vitreous detachment when the vitreous pulls away from the back of the eye and sometimes it does not ‘let go’ and eventually tears the retina, leaving a hole. Extreme exposure to sunlight (for example staring at the sun during an eclipse) can also cause a Macular hole to develop. OCT helps in early detection of Vitreous traction and hence can be managed well before it leads to a Macular Hole
Vitreomacular traction can clearly be diagnosed through OCT providing invaluable information about the curret relationship between the vitreous and the retinal surface of the eye. As people get older the vitreous jelly that takes up the space in our eyeball can change. It becomes less firm and can move away from the back of the eye towards the centre. In some cases parts do not detach and cause ‘pulling’ of the retinal surface. The danger of the vitreous detachment is there is no pain and your eyesight will seem unchanged but the back of the eye may be getting damaged.
Dry eye is a commonly occurring condition that often results in significant discomfort. Understanding this condition is the first step towards getting the right treatment.
Our optometrist Dr. jani in Mississauga, ON, answers some of the most commonly asked questions about dry eye.