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Q&A about the OCT

Dr. Lynn DiMartino of Battle Creek Eye Clinic in Battle Creek, MI answers questions about the OCT (Optical Coherence Tomography) technology.

Please describe what the OCT is used for and give a basic sense of how it works.

OCT is a noninvasive tool for analysis of retinal and corneal tissue for diagnosis of retinal disease glaucoma and anterior eye disease as well. This technique is based on the degree of absorption or dispersion of light traversing the tissue.

What components, or how much of the retina, does the OCT look at and give imaging for?

With SD-OCT, Doctors can look at all the layers of the retina and cornea and determine the following:
• Detect disease of the retina (back of the eye) as well as the anterior portion of the eye.
• Evaluate treatment efficacy over time for glaucoma and macular degeneration.
• Quantify lesion thickness and volume
• Track disease progression of glaucoma, macular degeneration, diabetic and hypertensive retinopathy and many other diseases.
• Evaluate postoperative status after cataract, retinal and macular degeneration surgery.
• Study 3-D views of the anterior and posterior eye.

What types of eye diseases and disorders can be discovered?

Both anterior and posterior eye diseases can be discovered including keratoconus, macular degeneration, glaucoma and diabetic retinopathy to name a few. Also the OCT helps in determining if there are retinal side effects occurring from medications such as plaquenil.

What is it about this particular technology that you find most exciting; the component that made you feel you need to invest in this for your optometry practice in Battle Creek, MI?

Never before have eye doctors had the ability to see all the layers of the retina in detail to monitor and diagnose eye disease and protect vision.
Can you describe the patient experience when using the OCT?
This is a 5 minute noninvasive procedure that is completely objective.

Do the patients that walk through your doors day in and day out, appreciate the upgrade in technology?

I think Patient’s appreciate obtaining the latest in technology to rule out many vision threatening diseases and to obtain early diagnosis of diseases to maintain vision throughout their lifetime. Eye sight is precious and if there is technology available to protect and monitor the vision and eye health – it is well worth the investment.

How does this technology improve comprehensive eye exams compared to the days when we did not have an OCT in the optometric office?

This technology allows the eye doctor to diagnose, treat and monitor eye diseases much more thoroughly and make a diagnosis of conditions such as glaucoma years in advance of when could previously without this technology.

To what patients do you recommend using the OCT?

All patient should have a screening OCT.