Summerland Optometry has embraced new advanced technology that allows us to do a more definitive and in depth evaluation of the inside of your eye. Although these technologies are expensive, we feel the patient benefits are significant and worth the extra costs involved.
We already enjoy the benefits of our central retinal camera and our peripheral retinal camera OPTOS. We have now added a third retinal imaging technology to our office called Optical Coherence Tomography, or OCT for short. OCT is a relatively new technology that has become mainstream in the last 10 years.
OCT technology allows us to image your retina or optic nerve at a resolution equivalent to a low power microscope. It also incorporates computer assisted analysis of the image to follow tissue changes over time more accurately than we ever dreamed. We can visualize small pockets of fluid in the macula before it causes obvious wet macular degeneration. We can accurately measure the thickness of the retinal nerve cells and determine earlier than any other technique when the health of the nerves is being compromised (glaucoma). OCT is the technology used by retinal specialists to follow macular degeneration and is the technology used by ophthalmologists to monitor glaucoma progression.
In addition to following and monitoring pathology, it is also a great tool to employ when something looks a bit suspicious but we can’t be sure based on the rest of our testing. This is the biggest reason we elected to add this technology to our offerings. We are encouraging everyone in the 40-70 age bracket, who plan to see us regularly for continuing eye care, to have a baseline OCT performed for any future suspicious developments that we may notice over the years. In particular, anyone at risk for glaucoma or anyone at risk or showing any signs of macular degeneration should be imaged.
We encourage you to have an OCT added to your exam if for no other reason than to establish a solid baseline moving forward. If we detect any borderline or suspicious findings at the optic nerve or macula, or if you are at risk based on your family history, we will be asking you to be evaluated by our OCT.