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Hassan Hicks
Sight tests at Hassan Hicks

Sight tests


Ocular Coherence Tomography

Ocular Coherence Tomography for advanced eye scans

The health of your eyes is very important to us, which is why we are now offering OCT to our customers. OCT - Ocular Coherence Tomography - is a new, completely painless and highly advanced screening system which checks for potentially serious conditions that can affect your eyesight and your overall well-being such as glaucoma, diabetes, age-related macular degeneration, vitreous detachment and more.

Similar to ultrasound, OCT uses light rather than sound waves, to view the different layers which make up the back of your eye. Using the machine, your optometrist will take a fundus (digital) photograph and a three dimensional cross sectional scan of the back of your eye. This enables a very detailed, 3D view on the large colour screen which you can then view together.

The scan is non-invasive, painless, simple and quick.

OCT helps to detect common eye conditions

We will normally use the OCT machine initially if we see something in your sight test which merits further investigation.

We will then recommend using it at every eye examination. The software can automatically detect even the most subtle changes to the retina with every eye test. This gives the optometrist and you a valuable ongoing record of the health and condition of your eyes. By checking regularly, we can also recommend when a medical consultation is advisable.

Age related macular degeneration

Macular degeneration causes the gradual breakdown of the macular (the central portion of the eye). The risk of developing macular degeneration increases with age and it is the most common cause of loss of sight in older people. OCT can identify the condition and its type, wet or dry; we can then recommend when medical treatment is needed, and monitor the progress of the condition once treatment is underway.


Diabetes is a major cause of visual impairments among adults. In the UK more than two million people have diabetes - and the number is growing. OCT examination enables early detection, which greatly improves the success rate of treatment.


Glaucoma damages the optic nerve at the point where it leaves the eye. Currently it is estimated that some form of glaucoma affects around 2 percent of people over the age of 40. The danger with chronic glaucoma is that your vision can be damaged while you are unaware of its presence. There is no pain, and because you will not notice any change to your eyesight you will have no warning of any problem. An OCT examination will confirm if you are at risk, and if you already have glaucoma what stage it has reached.

Macular holes

A macular hole is a small hole in the macular, the part of the retina which is responsible for our sharp, detailed, central vision. This is the vision we use when looking directly at things and for example when reading or looking at a computer - or mobile - screen. There are many causes of macular holes including vitreous detachment - when the vitreous pulls away from the back of the eye and does not "let go" which can eventually tear the retina. Extreme exposure to sunlight can also cause a macular hole to develop.

Vitreous detachments

As people get older the vitreous jelly that takes up the space in our eyeball can change. It becomes less firm and moves away from the back of the eye towards the centre. Sometimes parts do not detach properly from the retina which causes pulling of the retinal surface. There is no pain and as with glaucoma your eyesight may seem unchanged, but the back of your eye can be damaged. An OCT scan can identify what is happening and what can be done