Technology advances at an astonishing rate, giving us ever more sophisticated ways to assess and monitor your general and ocular health and this is why we offer an enhanced eye examination as standard.
But what is an enhanced eye exam and how is it different to a standard eye exam?
WHAT IS AN ENHANCED EYE EXAM?
Alongside the usual ocular assessments that you would expect as part of a standard sight test, our enhanced eye exam includes digital retinal photography and OCT retina and optic nerve scans. These digital images are invaluable to us when it comes to understanding your eye health.
WHAT IS AN OCT SCAN?
An OCT scanner (or Optical Coherence Tomography to give it its full name) is used to take detailed images of the retina and optic disc, similar to those from an ultrasound, only using light instead of sound. The 3D images produced allow us to not only see the surface of the retina, but also beneath the surface.
WHAT CONDITIONS CAN OCT SCANS DETECT?
For most people, an Enhanced Eye Examination with OCT scans allow us to confirm that your eyes are healthy. Repeating on a regular basis allows for comparison over time and early detection of some of the most common eye diseases, including diabetic retinopathy, glaucoma, retinal holes, age-related macular degeneration (both wet and dry) and vitreous detachment.
DO YOU NEED AN ENHANCED EYE EXAMINATION?
This is something we get asked commonly in practice. Because of the unprecedented information that we get from the OCT scans, we feel an enhanced eye exam is vital for anyone wishing to have the most thorough assessment of their eye health. It is highly recommended for anyone with diabetes, glaucoma, age-related macular degeneration (AMD) or those with a family history of these conditions.
Even if you are not aware of any symptoms, OCT scans are beneficial as many eye conditions can present no symptoms until more advanced stages. Regular eye examinations with OCT scans allow us to detect small signs of change and closely monitor them in order to detect eye conditions as early as possible. For example, evidence has shown that an OCT scan can help detect signs of glaucoma up to four years earlier than traditional techniques.
We also frequently get asked whether it is necessary for those that attend a regular diabetic screening to have OCT scans. The answer is yes and that is due to significant differences between the retinal images taken at the screening and the advanced scans that the OCT provides. Retinal imagery is great for seeing the surface of the retina and signs of diabetic retinopathy, but it stops there. As outlined above, the OCT scans provide much more information and can detect a greater range of conditions.