How this Hartlepool opticians is using cutting edge technology to look deeper into customers’ eyes

Opticians Specsavers in Hartlepool says it will be able to help protect people’s eyesight more effectively after investing almost £40,000 in a new piece of cutting edge equipment.

By Mark Payne
Tuesday, 21 May, 2019, 11:51
Cian Murphy examines results from the 3D eye scanner which has been bought by Specsavers in Hartlepool.

The branch in Middleton Grange shopping centre has spent £38,000 on an Optical Coherence Tomography (OCT) machine which produces detailed 3D scans of the eye.

Store director Ian Walker said it will help them to look deeper into customers’ eyes and detect signs of degenerative conditions earlier.

Mr Walker said: “This investment gives our team the ability to enhance our services to the local community by identifying and helping to detect or manage conditions.

“OCT technology produces such a detailed picture of the structures in the eye that it allows us to identify signs of diseases years earlier than traditional methods.

“Given that nearly half of all sight loss is preventable, the sooner we can detect these conditions, the sooner we can help manage them or refer people for treatment.”

The piece of kit, usually found in hospital eye departments, produces a structural scan of the eye, including layers of the eye that would not normally be visible using traditional eye testing techniques.

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The results are said to be similar to an ultrasound or MRI scan, by creating multiple scan slice images that are built up to form a single image.

It is used to check for and manage a variety of conditions such as age-related macular degeneration, glaucoma and diabetic retinopathy.

The scanner is used in addition to a regular eye test that can be requested for an additional £10 charge.

Mr Walker added: “The OCT scan takes just a few seconds and is non-contact and painless.

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