Optical Coherence Tomography (OCT) Scan

Some eye diseases don’t cause any vision changes early on, meaning something can be happening in your eyes without you realising until it’s too late. The good news is vision loss in many cases can be prevented if detected early. At Canon Street Optometrists, we have advanced equipment such as the OCT scan to detect eye diseases early in a quick, painless, non-invasive way! An OCT scan is included in comprehensive eye examinations (age 50 and over) and post-cataract surgery eye examinations; for general eye examinations (under age 50) it can be requested for $30 or if the optometrist thinks you need it.

OCT Explained

Many eye structures affected by diseases are inside the eye, transparent, very small or not easily visible. An OCT scan allows the optometrist to examine these eye structures. It’s a bit like ultrasound for the eyes, but rather than sound, light beams are used to take 3D scans and cross-sections of essential eye structures such as your optic nerve, macula and retina. OCT scans give much more information about your eye health and some impressive things it can do include measuring the nerve fibre thickness, checking for age-related wear and tear, or even detecting any bleeding and fluid. See below for more examples of interesting conditions OCT scans can detect.

What Eye (and General Health) Conditions Can an OCT Scan Help Detect?

OCTs are the gold standard for diagnosing and monitoring many eye diseases such as glaucoma, age-related macular degeneration and diabetic retinopathy. With an OCT scan, our optometrists can detect eye diseases earlier, develop a tailored treatment plan, including referrals to eye surgeons and GPs if necessary, as well as monitor your eye health over time. An OCT scan can also help detect general health problems ranging from high blood pressure, diabetes, strokes, fluid in the brain or cancers. Sometimes an OCT scan can even tell if you are of a certain personality type, or if you’re stressed – the eyes are the windows to the soul, after all!

What Happens During an OCT Scan?

The optometrist does your OCT scan in a matter of 10 minutes, completely painless and non-invasive! The results are available instantly, and the optometrist will explain them and advise you on the next steps.

In cases where the optometrist is unable to get a good quality scan, for example if your pupils were not wide enough, or cataracts were present, the optometrist may ask you to return another day to instil dilating eye drops. These eyedrops widen the pupils which allows for a better view of the eye structures and better-quality OCT scan, like opening a door wider to see inside a room better.

Contact us for more information!


Kevin Liang

It’s always handy to have a centralised place to find out all the latest updates and have your burning questions answered. We think this blog section should do the trick!

In our blogs, we’ll make sure you can readily navigate your way through the topics of interest, keep up to date with the latest happenings within the practice and in the diverse world of optometry.
If you think there’s a topic we may not have gotten to yet, please leave us a suggestion in the comments section.

Otherwise, sit back, put your feet up, grab a cuppa and delve into your favourite blog.



Recent Posts

Rarotonga International Triathlon

New Brands

Behavioural Optometry

Driving & Your Eyes