Optical Coherence Tomography (OCT) for Macular Degeneration

Optical Coherence Tomography or OCT has become a critical tool in the fight against many eye diseases, especially the top three known to cause blindness – macular degeneration, diabetic retinopathy and glaucoma.  Named as one of the top ten medical innovations, optical coherence tomography (OCT) is being used to battle macular degeneration.

What is OCT and how is it used to battle eye diseases such as macular degeneration?

Optical Coherence Tomography or OCT, is a non-invasive technolgy used for imaging the retina.  It can determine if there are any vision related problems without touching the eye.  It has the ability to detect problems in the eye prior to any symptoms being present in the patient.

The retina is composed of layers of light sensitive tissues.  With an OCT, doctors are able to see a cross section of the retina and detect the early onset of a variety of eye conditions and eye diseases such as macular degeneration.  The OCT allows for detection of things such as macular holes, diabetic retinopathy and even optic nerve damage.  Using an OCT allows for early treatment in patients and dramatically improves the success of these treatments, especially in diseases such as wet macular degeneration – where the eye disease progresses rapidly.

The OCT is similar to a CT scan which is used to image internal organs inside the body.  The OCT uses an array of light to rapidly scan the eye.  These scans are interpreted and the OCT then presents an image of the tissue layers within the retina.  These layers can be differentiated and their thickness measured.  By comparing the thickness of the layers measured by the OCT scan against the normal thickness of healthy retinal layers, eye doctors can determine which retinal disease or eye condition exists in the eye, even before the patient is aware of any symptoms.

The OCT test is not only non-invasive, it allows for early detection.  Using an OCT test to help detect macular degeneration is critical when fighting this eye disease.

Comments

  1. Anne Marie Debidin says:

    Where can I have a OCT test done ASAP?

  2. Derryl Johnston says:

    Is the OCT test for the treatment of Wet or Dry macular degeneration?

  3. Kathy Matijevich says:

    I have this OCT test each time I go back to my retina specialist. I was only 49-1/2 when diagnosed with Macular Degeneration. This is a really scary thing to deal with. No one in my family has this. I am taking Avastin shots in my right eye for wet Macular Degeneration. Wet progresses faster than dry. I started the shots in July 2009 and had a shot in the eye every month until November. The shots seem to be slowing things down. I am now in the treat and extend area where I don’t take shots every month – but it has every tow months and then It will be every three months. These shots have helped a lot but take a lot of energy I of me each time I get them. It takes me an entire 24 hours to recover from the shot. I am hoping it will start slowing down more. I sometimes feel helpless in doing anything and wonder why I have this disease no one else in my family. I don’t have anything wrong with me, other than Macular Degeration. If you are not satisfied with your retina specialist, you should find another one either by referral or local society that deals in this disease. It is too dangerous to put this off. The Dry kind is slower progressive but the wet kind needs to be caught ASAP. The OCT information is very interesting and if your specialist is not doing this test then they should because this is how they can tell how bad the situation really is.

    Good luck. Feel free to email me.

    • Hi Kathy. I read you note from Jan 2010, I hope things are going well for you. I think I might have this MD. I am having the OCT tomorrow and I’m scared to death. You can also email me back at mozir52@yahoo.com. Marianne

  4. B.N.Srivastava says:

    Dear Sir
    My wife aged 68 years was detected for wet ARMD in left eye inApril2011 after having ca tract operation of both eyes in Dec 2010.Dr has given two Avastin inj at a interval of one hanf half month
    Sir what is difference in Avastin Shot and inj.and which is better one

  5. silvia bom says:

    How many OCT tests should one have?
    Every month until the disease is under control and then , after 2 or 3 months/exams, should one continue to have OCT every months for life? When does it stops and relay on the symptoms again?

  6. What is the cost of a OCTM scan. My optometrist thinks I have the start of dry Macular degeneration…no symptoms at this time…..does insurance cover it? I do not have vision coverage only Medicare Advantage plan

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