Alnwick opticians install £40,000 scanner to detect serious eye conditions

An Alnwick opticians has installed a state-of-the-art £40,000 scanner which can help prevent potential sight loss.

Wednesday, 7th April 2021, 4:23 pm

Specsavers in Bondgate Within has installed an optical coherence tomography (OCT ) machine and viewing screens which can help detect treatable eye conditions such as macular degeneration, glaucoma and diabetic retinopathy sooner.

The scan, which only takes a few seconds, allows an optician to look deeper into the eyes than ever before and it can help to detect glaucoma up to four years in advance.

Given that nearly half of all sight loss is preventable, an OCT scan means conditions can be managed before they get worse and can help prevent potential sight loss.

Grant Welsh of Alnwick Specsavers with the new optical coherence tomography (OCT ) machine.

Grant Welsh, store director, said: “This investment has enhanced the services we can provide within our community as previously this level of diagnostic capability would have required a hospital visit.

“The technology gives the optometrist an incredibly accurate picture of your eye and the multiple layers within it, enhancing our ability to identify, detect and manage conditions.

“We’re committed to providing the best possible service to our customers. I’m delighted that with the introduction of this new equipment, we will be able to provide an enhanced healthcare service which will greatly benefit the local community.”

An OCT scan uses light to take more than 1,000 images of the back of your eye and beyond, looking right back to the optic nerve and creating a cross-section view.

Store director Grant Welsh.

A customer’s OCT images will be stored on file so we optometrists can note changes over time, a real benefit to the monitoring of someone’s overall eye health.

Grant said: “The hospital-grade equipment produces a structural scan of the eye, including layers that would not normally be visible using traditional testing techniques.

“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. It allows us to see the eye in greater detail and therefore provides an accurate picture of your overall eye health.”

The cost of this scan is £10 in addition to the eye test and is not covered by the NHS examination.

Specsavers in Alnwick has installed an optical coherence tomography (OCT ) machine.

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