OCT is an acronym for “Optical Coherence Tomography”. This state-of-the-art instrument is used to analyze the anatomic structure of the optic nerve head, or disc, and the retina. This instrument and the tests it can perform are very useful for the evaluation of the optic nerve and macula to diagnose conditions such as thinning of the optic nerve, macular holes, epi-retinal membranes, cystoid macular edema, central serous choroidopathy and diabetic retinopathy.
The test itself is quick and painless and involves a noninvasive/noncontact scan of the internal structures of the eye. The data is generated via optical backscattering of light and produces cross sectional images of the retina and the optic nerve head. This sophisticated technology boasts extremely high micrometer-resolution that generates a three dimensional image. As a result, OCT testing allows for the layers of the retina to be isolated and differentiated, thus determining the thickness of the retina.
OCTs are able to provide a snap-shot in time. Comparison of past and present OCTs allows for monitoring of small changes over time. For this reason, OCT testing has proved to be a vital tool when evaluating such conditions as glaucoma and macular changes.