Seen Head Honcho, Tareq is always keeping a lookout for ways to improve the service here at Seen. So when he heard that a hospital-standard retina scanner was available that would offer you the option of considerably more in-depth eye health checks, he didn't hang around.
To tell you a bit more about Seen HQ’s newest piece of kit, we thought it best to grab the man himself, Tareq, and ask him a few questions on your behalf. Here we go...
Hi Tareq, how are you?
I’m good thanks. Very excited to have the city's shops and hospitality opening up and to see people out enjoying themselves. Manchester is nothing without it's people.
What’s this new eye test machine you’ve just had installed at Seen HQ?
The OCT scan?
Yes, that’s the one. What’s an OCT scan?
OCT stands for Optical Coherence Tomography.
And what does that mean for those of us without degrees in optometry?
Well, have you ever had a 2D, digital retina photograph taken of the back of your eye in an eye test?
Like digital retinal photography, or fundus photography as it’s called sometimes, an OCT scanner takes a kind of photograph of the inside of your eye, except it does it in 3D and in lots more detail.
How does it do that?
An OCT scanner is a little bit like an ultrasound scanner, but instead of soundwaves, it uses different frequencies of light to produce an image, not just of the back of your eye, but of all the layers underneath too.
And can that help make your glasses prescription more accurate?
No. Like a digital retinal photograph, an OCT scan isn’t used to identify the prescription for your glasses.
Ok… What’s it for then?
Eye tests aren’t just for your glasses, you know. They’re an important part of monitoring your eye health, identifying eye sight-threatening diseases long before you have any symptoms, and even keeping an eye on your wider general health too.
I guess that’s why they say it’s so important to have eye tests regularly.
So how does an OCT scan help you pick up on these underlying illnesses?
With a really high-detail 3D image of your inner eye, we can spot things that aren’t right much sooner. And when the scans are compared over time, we’re even better equipped to see minute changes in your eyes that could be the early signs of illnesses or eye health problems further down the line.
What sort of illnesses are we talking here?
For conditions most of you have heard of like Glaucoma and Macula Degeneration, OCT scans are truly brilliant. But there are so many more conditions too which we can now detect, diagnose and monitor.
Ok. So quite a lot?
Yes. Even signs of things like diabetes can be picked up during an OCT scan much earlier than through other methods. For example, Glaucoma can be detected up to four years earlier than traditional methods. If these conditions are caught earlier, there’s a much higher chance that they can be better managed and ultimately treated.
This sounds like a really useful piece of kit. What does the scan involve? It’s not going to be painful is it?
No, it’s not painful at all…
...The process doesn’t differ too much from having a digital retinal photograph taken. We’ll be guiding you through exactly what you need to do when you pop in, but you essentially just need to sit still and look at a target as directed. The OCT scan will then do its thing, they’ll be a flash at the end, and the high-detail 3D image of the back of your eye is ready to go. We’ll talk you through your results straight away.
That sounds easy enough. And is this separate from the regular eye test? Or do you do it at the same time?
The OCT scan is an additional service. We can include it as part of your eye test, but there is an additional charge to cover it.
So who would you recommend having it?
Well, it’s beneficial for anyone that wants to have the most detailed health check of their eyes. However, if you’re over 50, have a family history of genetic eye conditions like Glaucoma and Macula Degeneration, you have a high prescription or suffer a sudden onset of blurred vision, I would say it’s almost essential.
Right, I’m in. How do I book?
That’s easy. Just head to the regular booking page for eye tests - that’s here FYI - and select ‘Eye test with OCT scan’ as your reason for appointment. For all the extra benefit an OCT scan offers, it’s an additional £20.
Amazing. Thanks Tareq. I guess I’ll be seeing you soon.
No problem. I can't wait!