Select Page

Optical coherence tomography (OCT) is an imaging process that uses light to capture two and three-dimension images from the front and back of the eye. Vista Eye Care utilizes a Zeiss Cirrus 500 OCT system which allows our doctors to diagnose and manage a wide variety of ocular diseases. OCT is especially useful in the long-term management of diabetic patients, glaucoma patients, and patients with macular degeneration. OCT is also used at Vista Eye Care to measure subtle changes to the cornea in patients with a history of keratoconus, and such cornea refractive surgeries as LASIK and PRK.

OCT is especially useful in diagnosing and managing the following eye diseases:

  • Macular edema
  • Diabetic retinopathy
  • Primary open angle glaucoma
  • Closed angle glaucoma
  • Macular degeneration
  • Central serous retinopathy
  • Hydroxychloroquine (Plaquenil) retinal toxicity
  • Optic nervehead swelling (papilledema)
  • Keratoconus
  • Corneal edema
  • Retinal structural disease (retinal detachments and tears)
  • Macular holes
  • Ocular trauma

Sitting for the OCT is generally very easy for patients. The process involves placing your forehead against a forehead rest, and observing a target light placed within the instrument. The images are captured by our ophthalmic technician team, and our doctors review the images with you in the exam room.

Patients with chronic eye disease benefit from our OCT because of the high level of detail that the OCT can obtain. A glaucoma patient is monitored over time for changes to their optic nerve and retinal thickness. As glaucoma progresses, the optic nerve hollows out, and the retinal thickness is seen to decrease. These subtle changes are detected by the OCT and when current scan results are compared to previous scans, a pattern of change can be established. Diabetic patients are followed closely for changes to their retinal vasculature. Development of new blood vessel growth is considered proliferative diabetic retinopathy, and development of diabetic macular edema over time can greatly impact vision. Macular degeneration involves microscopic changes to specific layers of the macula. Even though most of the structural changes seen in macular degeneration are minute, the macula itself is a small and finely-tuned part of the retina. Because of its small size and high visual resolution, even small changes to the macula, detected by the OCT, can result in dramatic changes to the patient’s vision.

Optical coherence tomography (OCT) is seen in this image.
This OCT image shows the layers of the retina.

Ready to schedule your annual eye check-up?