What is an OCT Scan and Other Questions Answered

What is an OCT Scan?

OCT (optical coherence tomography), allows us to see what’s going on in the back of your eyes via cross-section views of the layers of tissue found at the retina. Compared to a standard eye test, which offers a basic insight into your eye health, your vision and uses 2D digital retinal photography with a Fundus camera, an OCT scan enables us to view the health of your eyes in far greater detail.

An OCT scan uses harmless lasers, which bounce off the layers of the retina (a little bit like an ultrasound) to provide a 3D image which helps us to see all of the layers within the retina. Our optometrists are then able to analyse the thickness of each of these layers to get an even clearer picture of your overall eye health, and spot anything ‘abnormal’ such as early age-related macula changes, epiretinal membrane, and early nerve cell loss due to glaucoma.

Why Do I Need an OCT Scan?

OCT scans are typically recommended for people who are aged 25 or over, however, anyone who wishes to learn more about their current eye health, and anyone who has diabetes, glaucoma, or a hereditary history of eye disease can opt for an OCT eye scan as part of their regular eye examination. We typically perform this test on all adults.

OCT and Optomap eye examinations are available in all our branches. If you decide to select Taylor West & Co as your optometrists, we will be able to track and monitor your eye health and vision over the years as we will be able to store a baseline image of your eyes on your file.

How Much Does an OCT Eye Scan Cost?

A traditional high-street adult eye test can cost between £20 and £80 on average and last just 20-30 minutes. However, private eye examinations at Taylor-West & Co which include OCT scans as standard are designed to take a more focused and personalised approach to the care of your eyes and take up to 60 minutes.

OCT Scan

You’ll spend the entire time with your personal optometrist during this time, and they will conduct all of your eye examinations, including your OCT scans and Optomap wide-angle retinal imaging. They will also take time to explain all the results to you so you can see for yourself what’s going on with your ocular health. We can even email you a copy of your scans, if you like!

Below, you’ll find details on how much an eye test including OCT scan costs in our branches.

  • Adult eye examination (with OCT and Optomap) £125
  • Child eye examination (with Optomap) £60

We also offer a monthly ‘Care Plan’ to our clients. We believe that this offers the best value for money and helps to deliver complete peace of mind when it comes to their eye health.

For just £9 per month for spectacle wearers and just £13 per month for contact lens wearers, you can visit our optometrists whenever you need to – all at no additional cost. Your initial visit is also covered if you join on the same day. Spectacle wearers are eligible to receive a 10% loyalty discount off any purchases including prescription glasses and sunglasses, and contact lens plan members will receive 30% off their contact lenses.

What Can an OCT Scan Detect?

OCT scans are particularly useful for detecting a wide range of potentially sight-threatening conditions that typically do not show any symptoms until it is too late.

Many sight-threatening conditions happen to form at the very back of the eye, and OCT scans help us identify the subtle changes over time that alert us to the development of these conditions.

This includes changes in the following:

  • The vitreous – the jelly-like substance that fills your eyes
  • The retina – the light-sensitive layer located at the back of your eyes
  • The macula – the area at the centre of the retina which is responsible for our central vision
  • The optic nerve – transmits light impulses to the brain in order to produce the images of the world we see
  • The cornea – the clear window at the front of the eye

Some conditions that can be detected up to five years earlier with OCT scans include:

  • Glaucoma
  • Diabetic retinopathy
  • Age-related macular degeneration (AMD)
  • Macular hole
  • Epiretinal membrane
  • High blood pressure
  • Cardiovascular disease
  • Tumours
  • Keratoconus

How Does an OCT Scan Work?

In just a few seconds, an OCT scan uses lasers to scan your eye – taking over 1,000 images of the eye without touching you. These images can see the back of your eye and even further beyond, allowing us to look back as far as the optic nerve in order to detect the minuscule abnormalities that could be the early signs of eye disease.

The layered image produced from your OCT scan gives us an incredibly detailed look at your eye and the structures within that help to create your vision. These images will then be stored so we can keep track of any changes to the health of your eyes over the years when you become a private member of Taylor-West & Co.

Become a private member

Our Specialist OCT Scans & Tests

At Taylor-West & Co, we use £120,000 worth of state-of-the-art hospital-grade optical equipment to provide a highly specialised eye examination tailored to your specific needs and requirements.

Our OCT eye scan uses state-of-the-art machinery to look into the depths of your eyes, allowing us to examine the minuscule details to detect the early signs of eye conditions up to five years earlier than traditional testing methods. This also allows us to provide effective treatments earlier and ensure your eyes stay healthy for longer.

The traditional eye test is no longer enough to protect our delicate eyes from this rapidly changing world. Book your OCT scan below or call our friendly staff to learn more about what to expect during your appointment.

Book your private OCT eye scan

Book Your OCT Scan

Keeping your eyes in their best possible condition is our mission at Taylor-West & Co. We use state-of-the-art hospital-grade equipment worth over £120,000, including our OCT machines, that enable us to detect even the most subtle changes in your vision and overall eye health so we can manage any issues accordingly.

We are able to detect a whole range of eye conditions up to five years earlier than conventional testing methods so that diseases like glaucoma, age-related macular degeneration (AMD), diabetic retinopathy, and more can be treated as early as possible – preventing them from affecting your vision.

Book your private eye test and OCT scan today


Do I still need an OCT scan after my annual diabetic check?2022-11-11T15:20:39+00:00

In short, yes. While diabetic screenings and OCT scans both involve imagery of the back of your eye; there are actually some significant differences.

Where a diabetic check involves a fundus picture or digital retinal photography, which captures a superficial image of the retina located at the back of your eye, OCT scans take over 1,000 scans in a matter of seconds which allows us to look at the many layers beneath the surface of your retina. This helps us to detect any changes to your eye health up to five years earlier than simply looking at the surface.

In addition to detecting eye problems linked to diabetes, OCT scans also allow us to detect a wider range of eye problems earlier.

Do I still need an OCT scan if I have my eyes checked at a hospital?2022-11-11T15:22:48+00:00

Yes. Not only do we check for a wider range of eye conditions that may not be under review at the hospital, but we will also provide a current appraisal of your overall eye health. Your optometrist does not typically have access to the results from your hospital eye examinations, so an OCT eye scan with Taylor-West & Co will provide a more rounded analysis of your overall eye health.

Is an OCT scan like having an MRI scan?2022-11-11T15:22:19+00:00

An OCT scan is very different from having an MRI – think of it more like having a photograph taken of your eye. During the OCT scan process, you’ll simply sit in front of, and look into, the OCT machine for around 3 seconds. You won’t have to lie down as you do for an MRI!

Is an OCT scan painful?2022-11-11T15:21:10+00:00

An OCT scan is not painful in the slightest. It is a quick, painless procedure that scans your eye without touching it. It is just like having a photo taken.

Isn’t OCT scanning for older people?2022-11-11T15:22:25+00:00

OCT scans are recommended for all adults, however, you can have one at Taylor-West & Co any time for a more thorough look into the health of your eyes. It is extremely helpful for your optometrist to monitor the results from your OCT scan as they are able to track the health of your eyes and monitor any changes every time you come in for an eye examination.

By |2022-11-11T16:27:15+00:00October 4, 2022|

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About the Author:

Sophie Taylor-West is the founder and Director of Taylor-West & Co Optometrists. She is one of our Hove-based registered Optometrists. Sophie specialises in contact lens fittings for both healthy and also “awkward” or more complex prescriptions, helping people who have difficulties seeing anything at all by transforming their sight. She also specialises in myopia management for children and teenagers with short-sightedness. Click here to read more...
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