OCT Eye Scan

An OCT scan is completely different from an eye photograph that is sometimes taken by doctors’ diabetic clinics or other opticians. The OCT scan is able to examine eye health below the eye’s surface, is very quick to perform and is completely painless and non-invasive. Results are available instantaneously and it is a great way for clients to gain a better understanding of their eye condition.

Regular eye scanning is a MUST for those that are taking Hydroxychloroquine or Chloroquine to control their Rheumatoid Arthritis and highly recommended for those in whom there is a family history of macular degeneration or one of the Glaucomas.


The Nation’s first OCT Eye Scanners

Ashleigh Sight Care was the first optical practice in the UK that offered OCT eye scanning when it installed the Topcon OCT in 2008. Although we learn new things frequently from the OCT and are considered to be experts in OCT scanning, new techniques are always being learned and newer equipment gives us more information about eyes. A recently conducted survey found that Ashleigh Sight Care is the UK’s favourite OCT eye scanner and, because we have been using these scanners for many years, together with constant updating and training, we are now considered to be the experts in our area.

OCT surface

Ocular Coherence Tomography (OCT) is an extremely advanced health check for people of all ages. It is quite different from digital eye photographs offered by your doctor (if you have diabetes) or by other opticians since these only image the surface of the back of the eye. This scan sees under the retina to parts that cannot be seen by the most common our basic instruments.

Very similar to Ultrasound, the OCT uses light rather than sound waves to illustrate the different layers that make up the back of your eye. There are no harmful X-rays involved and the scan is perfectly safe for everyone’s eyes and body. We also capture a digital photograph of the surface of your eye to cross reference areas of concern. The NHS don’t fund this procedure and there is an additional charge for our OCT scan, but the benefits are clear. So enjoy the peace of mind that comes from knowing that your eyes are in great condition.

The Retina, which is the back of the eye, is sensitive to light and it transmits the signals of light received by the eye to the brain. The brain interprets these signals and converts them to what we know as vision. The most detail- and colour-sensitive part of the eye is at the centre of the retina and is called the macula.

The retina is a window to the vasculature (blood vessels) within the body and many undiagnosed systemic vascular diseases can be discovered with thorough retinal examination. Recognizing these findings can potentially save vision and reduce the risk of morbidity from life threatening diseases.

Normal testing room equipment or eye camera can only see the surface of the eye. Many diseases, including oxidative stress begin their damage in the layers of the retina below the surface and the OCT can view all these layers in cross section.  Our state-of-the-art OCT equipment optically slices through the thickness of the retina and images what appears under the retina. It’s like slicing through a cake and seeing all the invisible layers below the upper surface.

What can an OCT eye scan detect?

For more information on the diseases that our OCT machines can detect please read our screening page.


Where can I have an OCT scan?

All our practices, Portsmouth, Bishops Waltham, Romsey, Southampton and Fair Oak branches are equipped with an OCT machine and are able to image deep into the retina of the eye. Please see our branches page.


OCT cross section of layers below the eye surface

The above image shows a cross section of the layers below the eye surface.

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