Optical coherence tomography (OCT) gives your optometry team a comprehensive 3D look into what’s happening in the deep layers at the back of your eye and within your eye, without ever penetrating your eye or causing any discomfort.

We can’t rely on vision disturbances alone to tell us that something could be wrong with our eye health, as many eye diseases and problems don’t cause any visible changes until it’s too late and notable damage or deterioration has occurred.

OCT scans use an advanced scanning system that quickly, easily and painlessly captures images of the deeper parts of eyes that otherwise could not be seen. Think of it like an ultrasound for the eye - except nothing actually touches the eye, and light beans are used to capture cross-sections and 3D images of key eye structures such as your retina, macula, optic nerve and vitreous humour.

Which Eye Problems Can Be Detected With An OCT Scan?

For our optometrists, OCT scans are the gold-standard tool for diagnosing eye diseases and problems early, including age-related macular degeneration, diabetic retinopathy, glaucoma, macular holes and retinal detachment. Specifically, glaucoma can be detected four years earlier compared to using traditional testing methods. Other detectable but less common conditions include drusen (small clusters of fatty proteins that can form beneath the retina and damage it permanently), retinal pigment epithelium detachment, epiretinal membrane formation, retinoschisis, central serous chorioretinopathy and optic disc edema.

OCT scans can also help detect generalised health problems, ranging from high blood pressure to diabetes, due to the effects of these diseases on the eye.

How Can An OCT Scan Capture These 3D Images?

OCT scans use light to capture the images of your retina, using a process called interferometry, which measures the interference between two light waves to determine the distance and reflectivity of the structures in the eye. The process is entirely non-invasive - it’s much like looking through a microscope. The scan is completed in minutes. Occasionally, we may need to put eye drops into your eyes to dilate your pupils, however this is also painless.


Book your optical coherence tomography scan as part of your eye test at our Queensland and New South Wales clinics by selecting your preferred location here.