3D OCT and Ultrawide Optomap Retinal Imaging

The most detailed examination of the health of the eye

What eye scans do you offer?

At Airedale Opticians we can uniquely provide two different types of eye scan – the 3D OCT Scan which allows us to see deep into the critical region at the back of your eye and the Ultrawide Optomap scan which allows us to see detail out to the very edge of your retina.

With the images from the scans and our advanced eye examinations, our optometrists have been able to identify the early stages of serious eye conditions, before the patients have noticed any symptoms, allowing for rapid referral and treatment before any permanent vision loss has occured.

Images and scans are retained and can be compared directly at future appointments to allow even the smallest changes to be detected.

Who should have a Scan?

We recommend our retinal scans for all patients at your eye examination – the scan is quick, painless and requires no eye drops.

If you are having any eye health concerns, the scans allow us to obtain the most in-depth look at the retina, allowing even tiny issues to be detected; they are also often a reassurance when nothing shows up and we can give the all-clear.

If you are attending for a routine check-up, having a scan made of your healthy eye gives us a baseline to refer back to in future. Many people are born with freckles or pigmentation on their retina which are completely harmless – but if they appear between appointments or expand even slightly it can be sign of an eye problem and with precise images we can detect this and refer accordingly.

If you currently have the Diabetic Retinal Screening to monitor your eye health, the scans are still recommended as they allow our optometrists to check for other eye conditions including Glaucoma and Macular degeneration which are not monitored at the diabetic screening.

What is the Optomap Ultrawide Scan?

Now available at our Keighley practice, the Optomap uses low-powered lasers to scan the inside of your eye, from the centre out to around 200°, giving an exceptional view of the back surface of your eye out to the edge.

This allows us to see regions of your eye which are not normally viewed during a normal eye test and to detect and monitor any findings there.

What is the 3D OCT Scan?

Available in Keighley and Crosshills, the OCT (Optical Coherence Tomography) uses long-wavelength lightwaves to create a 3D scan of the critical area at the back of the eye, looking into the layers of the retina around the macular and optic nerve.

The images allow us to detect changes below the surface of the retina that would otherwise not be visible during a normal eye examination.

How do I book in for the eye scans?

The OCT and Optomap scans are part of the toolkit of a full eye examination, they can be combined with our Advanced Private Eye Examination, or our detailed NHS Eye Examinations if you are eligible for an NHS-funded test. See our private fees page for pricing details. Patients attending for NHS funded emergency appointments can additionally have a scan made as well.

The scans only take a few seconds to perform, but our experienced optometrists then thoroughly analyse the results, letting you see the full detail of the interior of your eye – we allow around 10 minutes for this. No eye drops are generally required for either scan. You can telephone, e-mail or pop into practice if you have any queries.

Conditions detected and monitored by the 3D OCT and Optomap Scans

Retinal and Vitreous Detachment

OCT Scan showing a large retinal detachment

A retinal detachment is a very severe condition in which the delicate sensory layers of the retina at the back of the eye, responsible for receiving the images that provide your eyesight, pull away from the lower layers that provide blood and nerve supply. A retinal detachment needs to be treated as soon as possible by corrective surgery or it can lead to complete sight loss in the affected eye.

The scans give us a clear view to the very edge of your eye and in-depth in the critical macular region and are the most powerful tools in detecting a detachment when patients attend with concerning symptoms, allowing us to make an instant diagnosis and refer to the hospital for immediate treatment, or to reassure patients that there are no issues and avoid unnecessary stress and hospital referrals.

Regular scans can also be very useful for detecting if you are at increased risk of suffering from a retinal detachment. A vitreous detachment is an age related condition, where the vitreous (a jelly-like substance that fills the eye) pulls away from the retina – this is normally harmless and has no effect on your vision, but occasionally the vitreous can pull the retina with it causing a detachment. The 3D scan is the best way to detect these vitreous moves, so we can monitor them and make you aware of potential risks.

Macular Degeneration (AMD)

OCT Scan showing signs of AMD

The most common cause of sight loss in individuals over 50 in Britain, Age-related Macular Degeneration (AMD) exists in ‘wet’ and ‘dry’ form. Wet AMD is the most dangerous and at worst can lead to rapid sight loss within a few days, the OCT scan allows us to quickly identify the cause of vision loss and make a quick, precise referral for treatment. It is also helpful in monitoring the ongoing effects of treatment and recovery.

Dry AMD is a slow deterioration of the macular at the back of the eye, it currently has no pharmacological cure, although evidence has shown that certain supplements and diet choices can greatly help in slowing the onset and limiting its damage. The OCT scan is very helpful here, letting us detect early signs of the condition before it affects the vision, allowing us to recommend ways to help slow its development. Having frequent scans allows us to monitor the progress of the AMD over time.


OCT Technology spotting nerve damage, a key sign of Glaucoma

One of the most common serious eye conditions, Glaucoma is an increase in pressure of the fluids within the eye that can lead to damage to the optic nerve and cause permanent vision loss. As part of every eye examination we routinely check for glaucoma using the “puffer test” to check the pressure within the eye (IOPs) but this can only provide warnings when pressures are above the average healthy guidelines. Some sufferers however can experience ‘Normal-Tension Glaucoma’ where their eye pressures are actually within the clinically “safe” range, but due to the make-up of their eyes, damage is still being caused.

The scans allow your optometrist to directly view the optic nerve and look for signs of glaucoma on the ‘optic disc’, the visible end point of the optic nerve, where glaucoma damage can occur. The nature of this optic disc can vary from person to person and what may be of concern for some eyes is normal for others, so having a scan of your healthy eye can help us to detect very subtle changes as they take place in the future.


Optomap Scan displaying early signs of Diabetic Retinopathy which are outside the range of a diabetic screening photograph

Diabetic retinopathy is a sight threatening eye condition that can occur in type I or II diabetics. It is the result of damage caused to the retina by the diabetes that can lead to the production of new blood vessels within the retina which are often prone to collapse, leading to haemorrhaging within the eye.

All diabetic patients in Yorkshire should be registered for annual retinal photographs at a local health centre, but these flat photographs of the central region cannot provide as much detail as a 3D scan or a widefield Optos scan and we recommend the scans to all diabetic patients as it allows us to detect the onset of the condition at the earliest stage (non-proliferative diabetic retinopathy) and to refer for prompt treatment. The scan also allows us to detect other conditions which are not checked for during the diabetic photography.