An overview of Optical Coherence Tomography or OCT imaging technique and its use

OCT or Optical Coherence Technology is a high-resolution imaging technique used for obtaining cross-sectional images of tissue on the micron scale. As depicted by the eye specialists of the best eye hospital in Hooghly, OCT is basically a non-invasive imaging technology that is best used for obtaining sectional images of the retina. Using this technique different layers of the retina can be easily differentiated as per the retinal thickness.

After its invention in 1991, OCT was the first non-invasive form of imaging technique used for obtaining ocular cross-sectional images of the affected retina. OCT has revolutionized the domain of modern ophthalmic practices being implemented or applied in the treatment process of retinal diseases.

Why is OCT recommended by ophthalmologists?

Early detection of retinal diseases can help in correcting the condition and OCT now has become standard care for the treatment of retinal diseases. Patients visiting eye hospitals for OCT and for the treatment of retinal diseases find it comfortable as the process is non-invasive which is done using the rays of light for measuring the thickness of the retina. An OCT scan is totally harmless as it is done without X-rays and does not even hurt as well.

However, this technology is best compared to ultrasound and the only difference between the two is that OCT uses light, and ultrasound is performed using sound waves. According to the ophthalmologists of a leading eye hospital in Howrah, in terms of treatment of retinal diseases, it is very important to know the root cause of it and OCT is the best applicable solution in order to obtain clear cross-sectional images to differentiate the retinal thickness.

How is the patient prepared for the OCT procedure?

Patients opting for OCT in Drishtideep have to book an appointment at the clinic to go for the procedure. The ophthalmologist will then prepare the patient by putting eye drops into the eyes which may or may not be needed and totally depends on the severity of the condition. The eye drops are administered to widen the pupil which makes it easier to examine each layer of the retina properly.

Once the eye drops are administered the patient is then guided to sit in front of the OCT machine by resting the head on head support and has to lie motionless when the imaging is done. Once the retina of the patient is fixed to the exact or required position the OCT machine will start scanning your eye without any direct contact. Usually, the scanning process takes about 5-10 minutes to complete, however, the scanning time might differ according to the imaging requirement or the severity of the disease as well.

Difference between Optical Coherence Tomography and Ultrasound

OCT and Ultrasound are both imaging techniques but the only difference is that one uses light and the other uses sound waves to obtain images. Both OCT and Ultrasound are analogous which helps in performing cross-sectional or tomographic imaging which helps in measuring the internal structures of the tissues of the retina. OCT in Drishtideep is performed by constructing a tomographic image which is the actual measurement of the axial distance in the retinal material or tissue. However, there is a certain manifestation of Optical Coherence Tomography which helps in obtaining the images simply by measuring the delay in the echo time along with the intensity of the light being reflected. OCT images can be both two-dimensional and three-dimensional which helps in representing the differences in the optical back reflection in the cross-sectional plane.

Compared to OCT Ultrasound imaging process is generally used for a wide range of applications that can range from imaging of eyes, imaging of internal organs, catheter-based intravascular imaging, and many other applications. Ultrasound uses a high-frequency sound wave that penetrates the organs and tissues and provides images accordingly. The image resolution is totally dependent on the frequency of the sound waves generated, as with high-frequency sound waves the images high-resolution images can be obtained and vice versa.

Optical Coherence Tomography or OCT is an emerging imaging technology that is being used by the best eye hospital in Hooghly and the images obtained does help in knowing the exact cause of the disease in the retina. After its invention, OCT has been in use for the diagnosis and treatment of retinal diseases and is used as a supporting tool along with all other forms of imaging of tissues.

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