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My OCT scan showed no extra veins. That is a good thing but what is an OCT scan?

You have had them. It is that machine with the vertical row of little crosses. You are supposed to stare at the brightly lit one while the horizontal line clicks up and down.

The proper name for an OCT scan is Optical Coherence Tomography. Wikipedia has an article on it and I would refer you who enjoy physics to that article. Social scientist here. I got just about nothing out of it.

However, the article does have a section for the layman and it’s called ‘Layperson’s Explanation’! Even that section requires a bit more than a rudimentary understanding of the physical sciences. In bigger words it says OCT uses light to look into things that you cannot see into (opaque). It takes images by paying attention to the light reflected off of what it wants to see and ignoring the light reflected off of other things. Or maybe knowing those images are in the background. I think. Social scientist here; remember?

Click the photo for more information about the results of an OCT
Click the photo for more information about the results of an OCT
OCTMacular Normal vs Wet_021
Click the photo for information about the OCT test results.

The images that are made are three-dimensional. That means if there are veins where they are not supposed to be, the doctor can see them as ‘bumpy’ spots on the image. Conversely, if you have geographic atrophy and a ‘divot’ the three-dimensional image will show that there is a concave spot.

Get it? I think I do. Maybe.

OCT is great for vision stuff like AMD. It does not penetrate through tissue like sound, but with eyes, it doesn’t have to. You can go through that handy little peep-hole called the pupil. OCT images are of high quality. They are immediate. I got my results the next day. It would have been the same day but the doc was at his other location and I was the last appointment of the day.

And finally, you as the patient don’t require a lot of preparation. They normally dilate your eyes but this week I discovered even that is not required. My experience technician just “shot” through my pupil and the images apparently came out fine. My technician has done this for a while and has become a real “straight shooter”!🔫

And that is what I think I know about optical coherence tomography. Social scientist here.

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