Most cases of severe vision loss and blindness can be prevented with early detection. Optical Coherence Tomography, or 'OCT' is a powerful new test that can help your doctor identify and manage conditions early in the disease process. Most eye diseases that can lead to irreversible blindness, such as glaucoma, macular degeneration, and diabetic retinopathy, tend to progress without any pain, or vision symptoms, in the early stages. Age is a major risk factor for the development of many eye conditions, because they typically develop over the course of one's life time. This makes routine eye exams, a vital step for detecting eye conditions, even in the absence of any vision problems. The later an eye condition is diagnosed, the more difficult it may be to treat. The OCT test uses light, to scan the structures in the back of the eye. Once the scan is complete, this test generates a highly-detailed, cross-sectional image of the back of the eye. The OCT test can also help doctors detect changes in the eye, caused by diabetes and macular degeneration. The test can help doctors quantify abnormal thickening of the center of the retina, known as macular edema, or help identify subtle, less common retinal conditions such as macular holes. The OCT test can be used to monitor changes to the back of the eye, as a result of drug or laser therapy. These changes can affect a doctor's decision regarding the need for additional therapy. The OCT procedure is brief, painless, and completely safe.
Learn more at the American Academy of Ophthalmology website.