Hospital quality technology at Specsavers Bristol

Customers visiting Specsavers in Broadmead, Bristol can now benefit from an OCT (optical coherence tomography) scan which can help detect treatable eye conditions, such as diabetic retinopathy and macular degeneration, sooner.

The scan, which only takes a few seconds, allows the optician to look deeper into the eyes than ever before and it can help to detect glaucoma up to four years in advance.

Given that nearly half of all sight loss is preventable, an OCT scan means conditions can be managed before they get worse and can help prevent potential sight loss.

Structural scan of the eye

Nirav Shah, store director and optometrist at Specsavers Bristol, says: ‘This investment gives our team the ability to enhance the services to the local community by helping to detect and manage conditions, with a level of diagnostic capability which previously would have needed a hospital visit.’

An OCT scan uses light to take more than 1,000 images of the back of your eye and beyond, looking right back to the optic nerve and creating a cross-section view.

‘You can imagine it like a cake – we can see the top of the cake and the icing, but the image produced from an OCT scan slices the cake in half and turns it on its side, so we can see all the layers inside,’ says Nirav. ‘It gives us an incredibly accurate picture of your eye and its structures, allowing us to check your eye health.’

Early detection is key

Glaucoma is a condition that can creep up on you without any signs or symptoms. In fact, for many people, glaucoma is caused by a painless rise in pressure inside the eye.

This rise in pressure can cause gradual but irreversible damage to nerve fibres and may lead to tunnel vision if left untreated. Fortunately, there are treatment options for glaucoma, and the earlier it’s picked up the better.

Early detection means that treatment with prescribed eye drops, laser treatment or surgery can be started before you experience any significant sight loss — and an OCT scan is a key way to help detect any early changes.

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

An OCT scan is in addition to a normal eye test and can be requested when you book an appointment or when you arrive in store.

Keeping safe in store

In line with guidance from the NHS, Specsavers is keeping safety measures in place, including the wearing of face coverings, unless there is a medical exemption. This includes maintaining social distancing in stores, continuing to use PPE and sanitising all testing equipment and frames before and after each use. Doors will be kept open whenever possible to improve ventilation and although card payments are still preferred, cash payments will be accepted too.

Specsavers will also continue to operate its Ask The Expert chat function on its website and its RemoteCare service, which enable customers to speak to an expert from the comfort of their home via video call or phone. To book an eye test at Specsavers Bristol call 0117 922 5288 or visit specsavers.co.uk/stores/bristol