What Is Laser Retinal Imaging (OCT)

What Is Laser Retinal Imaging (OCT)

Optical Coherence Tomography or OCT is a modern imaging technique that eye health care professionals use to capture images of your retina. It works like a typical ultrasound device. Only that instead of sound, this technology uses light waves that reflect from the eye tissues. The pictures they get are of high resolution, making it one of the best imaging devices to date. The technology is so advanced that it can take cross-sectional images of the distinctive layers in the eye. These provide eye doctors with three-dimensional images to help with their diagnosis.


What to Expect During OCT


During an OCT exam, your eye doctor may use special eye drops to dilate your pupils. This will help widen your pupil, making it easier for them to inspect your retina. Then, they will ask you to sit in front of the OCT machine. You will use a headrest to keep motionless. Then, your doctor will calibrate this medical imaging instrument. They will ask you to look at a fixed point inside the OCT machine. Your doctor will ask you to stare at this light target to keep your eyes still. They will also ask you to avoid blinking for short periods as the machine takes images. The equipment will scan your eye for about five minutes or so without touching it. They will then receive the images.


An OCT exam is generally performed to evaluate various eye conditions, including:



The presence of a dark spot behind your eye may indicate malignant growth in your retina.




This disease, which causes optic nerve damage, may result in irreversible blindness. It currently has no cure. But with early detection and intervention, patients can stop or slow down its progression.

Macular Edema


This occurs when your retinal blood vessels leak, causing them to swell.

Vitreous Traction


As you age, your vitreous cortex may gradually detach from your retina. This can cause blurred vision.

Diabetic Retinopathy


This is a complication from diabetes, causing damage to the blood vessels of the retina.

Central Serous Retinopathy


This occurs when there’s fluid buildup behind the retina, causing partial retinal detachment.

Pre-Retinal Macular Fibrosis


This is a condition characterized by a thin membrane of scar-like tissue covering the macular surface.

Age-Related Macular Degeneration


This is a common condition that can blur your central vision. It’s common in older people.


Not every patient requires dilation. But if your doctor used the special eye drops, your eyes might become sensitive to light for a few hours following the test procedure.


Benefits of OCT


Laser retinal imaging lets your eye doctor detect signs of eye disease that couldn’t be seen before. An OCT test is non-invasive and painless. The results are also easy for your doctor to interpret. The images they obtain from an OCT exam can be stored on a computer and compared with other test scans.


Your medical insurance, not your vision insurance, may cover your OCT exam. This will depend on the reasons why you need that test and the terms of your insurance policy.


Find out more about laser retinal imaging & OCT testing, contact Lifetime Vision and Eye Care in Miami Gardens, FL at (305) 902-3320 to book your appointment.