Introducing the Optovue iVue OCT

One of the most sophisticated instruments in the practice of eye care is the OCT (optical coherence tomographer). This technology uses light waves to take cross-sectional images of the retina and optic nerve. In other words, we can see all the different layers of tissue within your eye to detect various eye diseases!

Think about it this way- they are just like taking X-rays or MRIs. Sometimes we can see diseases without these scans, but these scans give us information that we normally would never be able to detect or determine through traditional techniques. This is the most comprehensive way that we can examine your eyes and truly sets a new standard going forward.

What Does the OCT Do?

The OCT is a versatile piece of equipment with various functionality. One of the primary uses for the OCT is detecting diseases that affect the optic nerve and macula, two of the most important structures in the eye. For those of you that have had an exam with us in the past, our doctors have most likely showed you these structures in your fundus photos. The OCT goes beyond photos by allowing us to see beyond the superficial surface of what we can typically see with photos. This is especially important for detecting and managing eye diseases such as macular degeneration, glaucoma, and diabetic retinopathy because we can now see, to a deep and microscopic level, any abnormalities or disease.

In addition to scanning the inner linings of the eye, the OCT can also scan the front surfaces to measure the thickness of your cornea and cells. It also helps us to ensure that contact lenses are fitted properly on the eye and allows us to know how to make tiny adjustments that could make a big difference in visual quality and comfort.

An OCT image of the macula, the center of the retina

Who Should Have an OCT Scan?

OCT scans are a no-brainer if we are managing a patient for disease such as glaucoma, macular degeneration, or diabetes, but they are also excellent for detecting problems that may not be otherwise found with photos or dilated eye exams.

In glaucoma, the OCT provides us important information regarding the thickness of retinal and nerve tissues that allow us to see progressive thinning of those tissues, which may indicate the need for additional treatment. Retinal deposits and ruptured retinal tissues can be detected and monitored in worsening macular degeneration. For uncontrolled diabetics, we may see leaking blood vessels or swelling of the central retina.

In addition to these, many other conditions may be monitored and/or detected with the OCT including:

  • Central serous chorioretinopathy
  • Hypertensive retinopathy
  • Optic nerve drusen
  • Retinal artery and vein occlusions
  • Toxicity caused by medications such as plaquenil
  • Posterior vitreous detachments
  • Macular pucker
  • Macular holes

We are so excited to have this technology in our practice to provide our patients with the very best and most advanced eye care possible. No matter how complicated your case may be, Simply Optometry is here to simplify it for you.