Patient Information Leaflet

OCT (Optical Coherence Tomography) Scan

Your eye doctor has asked that you have an Optical Coherence Tomography (OCT) scan. An OCT machine is a type of scanner that scans the back of the eye to check your eye health. The data collected helps your doctor to monitor, diagnose and manage your condition.

What is OCT scan?

The OCT uses light waves to make a map of the retina at the back of your eye to show up any damaged areas. It uses an optical measurement known as low-coherence interferometry to scan across the retina and generate a cross-sectional image of your eye.

In preparation for your OCT scan?

When you arrive, you may need eye drops to dilate your pupils. They can take up to 20 minutes to work.

Dilating eye drops will be placed into your eyes during your appointment, these may sting for a few seconds. The drops will cause your sight to go blurry and make your eyes sensitive to bright light. Do not drive or operate machinery until your vision returns to normal, this may take up to 6 hours. You may like to bring a dark pair of sunglasses with you. Please also bring any glasses you wear and the prescription if you have it.

What happens during an OCT scan?

Once your pupils have dilated, you will be taken into the OCT room. You will be seated in front of the OCT machine and be required to place your head forward with your chin supported on a rest. You will need to keep very still whilst the back of your eye is scanned. The scan is totally painless and will take around 10-15 minutes.

What happens to your results?

Your doctor will study the results of your scan carefully before discussing any possible treatment options. The results may be given to you on the day, or you may be given a follow up appointment.

Who is the OCT scan not appropriate for?

All patients should be able to have an OCT scan performed.

All of the above will be explained to you on the day of your appointment. You will also have an opportunity to ask any questions during your visit.

Special requirements

All of our patient leaflets are available in large print formats.

If you require additional help or have other accessibility needs, please contact us on 01306 735459