Course Guides Optometrists Through OCT Presentations

Retinal scan testing for glaucoma. Woman with her head resting in a machine (left) being used by an ophthalmologist (right) to scan the retinas of her eyes and examine them for signs of glaucoma. The retina is the light-sensitive layer at the back of the eye responsible for vision. Glaucoma is a build-up of pressure inside the eye causing blurring and blindness. The technique in use here is optical coherence tomography (OCT) using a confocal scanning laser ophthalmoscope (SLO) device. This machine is from the Optovue company. The results of the scan are shown on the screens and in image C028/1548.
Julie Rodman, OD, shows how to interpret images to understand a patient’s disease.

The following article is a part of Ophthalmology Advisor’s conference coverage of the Southeastern Educational Congress of Optometry (SECO) 2021, held in Atlanta and virtually from April 28 to May 2, 2021. The team at Ophthalmology Advisor will be reporting on the presentations offered by these leading experts in optometry and ophthalmology. Check back for more from the SECO 2021 Meeting.


Optical coherence tomography (OCT) has improved clinicians’ ability to evaluate and manage retinal disease. Its high-resolution cross-sectional images provide noninvasive visualization of the retinal and choroidal anatomy. During SECO 2021, Julie Rodman, OD, will present the basics of OCT, including what to look for when diagnosing various diseases of the eye.

Dr Rodman’s review of the interpretation and clinical application of OCT in primary eye care practices describes the anatomical characteristics of each distinct retinal layer on an OCT scan

The course offers an explanation of the nuances of the retinal presentations of various conditions. The subtleties of retinal layer thicknesses and other metrics that the technology can show may be used to establish an early diagnosis that could help eye care specialists reduce disease severity and slow development. In some cases, the imaging can even be predictive of disease progression. Dr Rodman’s presentation helps connect the abnormalities within retinal layers to conditions, such as posterior vitreous detachment, vitreomacular traction, vitreomacular adhesion, asteroid hyalosis, vitreopapillary traction, neovascular disease, glaucoma, retinal vascular disease, diabetic retinopathy, age-related macular degeneration (AMD), choroidal melanoma, central serous chorioretinopathy, and polypoidal choroidal vasculopathy.

For instance, diabetic retinopathy and vascular occlusive diseases are evident within the inner retina, whereas diseases such as AMD are seen in the outer layers of the retina. 

OCT devices are not present in every optometric office, but at the rate of technological advancement across eye care, the ability to interpret these images is elemental and could end up saving someone’s vision.  

Visit Ophthalmology Advisor’s conference section for complete coverage of the SECO 2021 Meeting and more.



Rodman J. Getting Started With OCT. Presented at: Southeastern Educational Congress of Optometry (SECO) 2021 Annual Meeting; April 28-May 2, 2021; Atlanta, GA. Course 510.