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Taking an OCT of your eye, produces a contour map of your retina and macula, which are parts of the light sensitive layer at the back of the eye, (please see diagram below under ‘Basic anatomy of the eye).

Images of the retina are used by your doctor to monitor your condition. Your doctor may have referred you for one test or multiple tests.

To get the best results we may need to dilate your pupils. Dilating drops will be administered before the procedure if required. It takes 15 to 20 minutes for the drops to take effect and your eyes may remain dilated, with blurred vision, for several hours afterward.

The procedure

  • You will sit at the OCT machine with your head in the headrest.
  • You will be asked to look at a target light and the equipment will move very close to your face.
  • Images will be taken of each eye. Keep your eyes still, do not blink and follow the operator’s instructions. We may need to hold your eyelids open.
  • After the test you can leave the Medical Photography area.

Do not drive after leaving the hospital as your eyes will still be dilated and your vision blurry.

Your results will be sent to your referring doctor or sent electronically to your medical file.

For further information, please speak to the Medical Photography staff.

Equipment used to perform OCT imaging is called either a Spectralis OCT, Cirrus OCT or Nidek OCT.

Private patients

This procedure incurs a fee that is not claimable from Medicare or private health insurance. It is preferred that you pay the account on the day at the cashier.

Basic anatomy of the eye

Basic anatomy of the eye
Basic anatomy of the eye including: Cornea, Iris, Pupil, Lens, Optic Disc, Macula, Optic Nerve, Retina and Sclera

Disclaimer This document describes the generally accepted practice at the time of publication only. It is only a summary of clinical knowledge regarding this area. The Royal Victorian Eye and Ear Hospital makes no warranty, express or implied, that the information contained in this document is comprehensive. They accept no responsibility for any consequence arising from inappropriate application of this information.

  • Optical Coherence Tomography (OCT) Imaging #98
  • Owner: Medical Photography
  • Last Reviewed: May 21, 2020
  • Next Review: May 21, 2023