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Optical coherence tomography (OCT) of the eye is a fast, non-invasive, safe method of examining all structures of the organ of vision in order to obtain accurate data on the smallest damage.
The essence of the method is the ability of an infrared light beam to reflect unequally from various structural features of the eye. The technique is close at the same time to two diagnostic manipulations: Ultrasound and computed tomography. But in comparison with them, the OCT method significantly benefits, since the images are clear, the resolution is large, there is no radiation exposure.
Optical coherence tomography of the eye allows you to evaluate all parts of the organ of vision. However, the most informative manipulation is when analyzing the features of the following eye structures: cornea; retina; optic nerve; front and rear cameras.
Most diseases of the organ of vision, as well as symptoms of eye damage, are indications for coherence tomography.
The conditions under which the procedure is carried out are as follows: retinal tears; dystrophic changes in the macula of the eye; glaucoma; optic atrophy; tumours of the organ of vision, for example, choroidal nevus; acute vascular diseases of the retina – thrombosis, ruptured aneurysms; congenital or acquired anomalies of the internal structures of the eye; myopia.
In addition to the above diseases, there are symptoms that are suspicious of retinal damage. Symptoms such as: a sharp decrease in vision; fog or “flies” in front of the eye; increased eye pressure; sharp pain in the eye; sudden blindness; exophthalmos are indications for investigation.
· OCT can be used to diagnose changes in the structures of the posterior pole of the eye at various stages of development.
· OCT allows you to conduct anatomical and morphological analysis of the macula and optic nerve head (ONH), to measure the thickness of the neuro- and pigment epithelium of the macula and retina.
· OCT is an informative method for assessing changes in the central parts of the retina and is of particular importance in low visual acuity and a normal fundus picture.
· OCT does not replace biomicroscopy, but quantitatively and qualitatively complements information about vitreomacular pathology.
· OCT is easy to perform and requires widespread implementation in practice.
The method demonstrates the greatest efficiency in the diagnosis of such ailment as age-related macular degeneration (AMD), in which the patient sees a black spot in the center of the visual field.
OCT scans individual layers of the retina, which allows you to identify changes within the tissue and determine the form of degeneration.
Optical coherence tomography of the macula of a healthy eye
Optical coherence tomography in age-related macular degeneration of the retina
In case of macular pathology, OCT allows to:
· Reveal atrophy and hypertrophy of the retinal pigment epithelium, detachment of the retinal pigment epithelium, detachment of the retinal neuroepithelium, choroidal neovascularization, subretinal fibrosis;
· Confirm the presence of a macular rupture and determine the stages of its formation;
· Exclude macular pathology in the other eye;
· Assess the vitreomacular interface;
· Clarify indications for surgical or laser treatment;
· Evaluate the results of treatment of neovascular AMD and the prognosis of visual functions.
Since the procedure is completely safe, it is recommended to be carried out for the following categories of citizens: women over 50; men over 60; all those suffering from diabetes mellitus; in the presence of hypertension; after any ophthalmic interventions; in the presence of severe vascular accidents in history.
This publication has been prepared with the support of the Presidential Grants Fund