Specsavers in Exeter has invested in two hospital-quality machines that can help to detect treatable eye conditions such as diabetic retinopathy and macular degeneration sooner.
The Exeter store is one of the largest in the UK, employing 70 members of staff, so it has bought two machines to meet the needs of its many patients.
OCT (optical coherence tomography) machines only take a few seconds to scan someone, allowing an optician to look deeper into the eyes than ever before. It can help to detect glaucoma up to four years in advance.
This comes as latest statistics show that there will be an estimated 4,230 people living with sight loss in Exeter by 2025.
Given that nearly half of all sight loss is preventable, an OCT scanmeans conditions can be managed before they get worse and can help prevent potential sight loss.
Scott McGowan, OphthalmicDirector at Exeter Specsavers, says: ‘This investment gives our team the ability to enhance the services to the local community by helping to detect and manage conditions, with a level of diagnostic capability which previously would have needed a hospital visit.’
An OCT scan uses light to take more than 1,000 images of the back of an eye and beyond, looking right back to the optic nerve and creating a cross-section view.
‘You can imagine it like a cake – we can see the top of the cake and the icing, but the image produced from an OCT scan slices the cake in half and turns it on its side, so we can see all the layers inside,’ says Scott. ‘It gives the optician an incredibly accurate picture of your eye and its structures, allowing them to check your eye health.’
Glaucoma is a condition that can creep up on people without any signs or symptoms. In fact, for many people, glaucoma is caused by a painless rise in pressure inside the eye.
This rise in pressure can cause gradual but irreversible damage to nerve fibres and may lead to tunnel vision if left untreated. However, there are treatment options for glaucoma, and the earlier it’s picked up the better.
Early detection means that treatment with prescribed eye drops, laser treatment or surgery can be started before people experience any significant sight loss — and an OCT scan is a key way to help detect any early changes.
A customer’s OCT images will be stored so they can note changes over time – a real benefit to the monitoring of someone’s overall eye health.
An OCT scan is in addition to a normal eye test and can be requested when you book
an appointment or when you arrive in store.
To book an eye test at Exeterstore call 01392 210604 or visit https://www.specsavers.co.uk/stores/exeter