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Home » Eye Care Services » Advanced Technology » Q&A regarding OCT with Dr. Gustafson

Q&A regarding OCT with Dr. Gustafson

Q: What is an OCT?

A: OCT stands for Optical Coherence Tomography. OCT is a specialized scan that utilizes light waves to obtain a cross-sectional image of the retina. It is impossible to see this level of detail directly during and examination, so OCT technology is an excellent way to find eye disease earlier.

Q: For whom is it recommended to do an OCT test?

A: Everyone should have a baseline OCT once. This gives the eye doctor comprehensive information on your risk for glaucoma or any variations in the anatomy of your retina. The OCT also gives the doctor information to reference in the future if your eye health status changes.

Q: What conditions can an OCT diagnose?

A: An OCT can aid in diagnosing many conditions earlier and with much more precision than traditional methods have allowed in the past. By measuring the thickness of specific layers of the retina, the OCT helps more accurately predict a patient’s individual risk for developing glaucoma.

The OCT can diagnose very mild conditions that would otherwise go undetected, such as swelling in the macula (center of your vision), changes from diabetes, and early macular degeneration.

Q: To what patients do you recommend using the OCT?

A: We recommend a baseline OCT to all patients age 40 and older. Patients of all ages with a family history or risk factors for glaucoma and macular degeneration should also have an OCT scan. All patients with diabetes should undergo OCT testing yearly as well.

Q: Can you describe the patient experience when using the OCT?

A: The OCT is a quick and painless test; it is similar to having a picture taken. The patient is positioned to lean onto a chin rest and look at a target. There is a brief bright light for each image taken – typically 1-2 images will be taken per eye. The eye doctor sees the results of the test immediately and will go over them during the examination.

Q: How much is an OCT test? Is it covered by insurance?

A: A basic wellness OCT is $29. This is the introductory OCT test that we recommend everyone undergo once to have a baseline on file. Insurance does not cover this type of OCT. If anything that needs further testing is detected on the wellness OCT, your doctor may recommend more comprehensive OCT testing that can likely be billed to your medical insurance.

Q: What is it about this particular technology that you find most exciting?

A: The OCT gives our clinic a powerful tool for detecting and diagnosing eye disease. Previously, patients who needed this test had to be referred to a specialist. I am most excited to provide this next level of care to our patients without the inconvenience and expense of a specialist appointment.

The OCT adds another layer to our comprehensive care and allows us to gather even more information on your eye health. This aids us in making treatment decisions for patients now and down the road if changes arise.

Q: How often should I have an OCT scan?

A: There isn’t a ‘one size fits all’ answer to this question as it depends on your individual eye health and your family history. Some patients will need a yearly OCT and some patients will only need the OCT every 2-3 years. Your doctor will let you know what your appropriate test interval is during your examination.

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To our valued patients,

At The Eye Doctors, Inc. the health and well-being of our patients is at the core of everything that we do. In light of the rapidly changing situation and the spread of COVID-19 we made the difficult decision to close the clinic on Tuesday, March 17 th.

At this time, the Wal-Mart Vision Center remains open limited hours for urgent glasses repairs, pick-ups of existing orders and new contact lens orders. The vision center is open every day from 10 AM to 2 PM and on Tuesdays from 6 AM to 2 PM, with the hour of 6 AM to 7 AM reserved for senior citizens.

If you are experiencing an eye emergency, please call 952-955-4427 to leave a message for one of the doctors. Messages will be checked Monday through Saturday from 9 AM to 5 PM.

We are monitoring the situation closely and will re-open when it is safe to do so. We look forward to seeing you when things improve and thank you for your continued support of our practice. Please continue to our website for further information.

Dr. Melissa Viker & Dr. Britt Gustafson

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The Eye Doctors, Inc. COVID-19 Information:

Our clinic closed on March 17th and will remain closed until it is safe to re-open.  Please watch our website and Facebook page for updates.

Urgent or Emergent Eye Concerns

If you have an eye emergency, we are here to help.  Please call 952-955-4427 and one of the doctors will return your call.  The messages are monitored Monday through Saturday between 9 AM and 5 PM.  Eye emergencies include (but are not limited to): eye pain, a recent onset of redness in one or both eyes, flashes of light or sudden onset of new floaters, double vision, and sudden change/worsening of vision in one or both eyes.

Glasses and Contact Lens Orders:

The Wal-Mart Vision Center is open daily at this time from 10 AM to 2 PM and 6 AM to 2 PM on Tuesdays for limited services. The hour of 6 AM to 7 AM on Tuesdays is reserved for senior citizens.  One optician is on duty to provide urgent glasses repairs and adjustments; at this time no new orders for glasses are being accepted. Existing orders of contact lenses and glasses may be picked up from the vision center.  New orders of contact lenses can be placed in store and will be shipped to your home if we do not have the lenses in stock. Additionally, you may order contact lenses at www.walmartcontacts.com

Contact Lens Safety

There is no evidence that contact lens wearers are at greater risk for a Corona Virus infection, per the American Optometric Association Cornea and Contact Lens Section.  Please follow the below tips:

  • Wash and dry your hands thoroughly before handling contact lenses
  • Avoid using contact lenses if you are ill with any cold or flu-like symptoms
  • Reduce your risk for infection by avoiding sleeping, napping, swimming or showering in contact lenses
  • Replace your contact lens case every 2 months
  • Use fresh contact lens solution each time you store your lenses
  • Do not reuse single-use/daily disposable lenses