Definition

 Optical coherence tomography utilized light waves to produce digital images of the back of the eye.  Optical coherence tomography can produce cross-sectional images of the retina, macula, and optic nerve.
Alternative Names: OCT

What to Expect

  • The eyes are dilated with dilating eye drops.
  • The chin is placed in a chin rest and the forehead against a support bar to keep the head still during the test. 
  •  The patient is asked to hold still and maintain a steady gaze.
  • The patient is asked to look at a green fixation light and pictures of the eye nerve or macula are obtained. 
  • The test takes approximately five minutes per eye.

How the Test Feels

Patient’s may experience stinging and/or burning with instillation of the dilating eye drops.  The patient’s vision will be blurry until the effects of the dilating eye drops wear off.

Why the Test is Performed

Digital images of the retina, macula, and/or optic nerve can assist in determining the conditions listed below.

Results

  • Normal Values
    Normal optical coherence scans reveal a regular contour to the retina with normal thickness values.
     
  • Abnormal Results
    Abnormal results may reveal conditions such as:
    • Glaucoma
    • Macular thickening
    • Macular hole
    • Diabetic macular edema
    • Central serous retinopathy
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