Given that nearly half of all sight loss is preventable, an OCT scan means conditions can be managed before they get worse
The ongoing Covid-19 crisis has already had such a huge impact on the way we live our lives and we are now trying to take steps towards resuming some form of normality. Last week my local Specsavers invited me in for a comprehensive eye and hearing test and given the reality of the fact that I'm not getting any younger… I decided to take them up on their offer. I was asked to come wearing a facemask and temperature checked on arrival. Then I was shown the brand-new Optical Coherence Tomography (OCT) scanner.
Specsavers has rolled out OCT scanners across Ireland - a cutting-edge piece of equipment that allows opticians to view the eye in more detail than ever before. It is all part of a commitment to providing customers with access to the very latest optical technology, helping to detect a number of eye conditions, such as age-related macular degeneration and diabetic retinopathy, sooner. OCT can also 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. The scan, which only takes a few seconds, 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. Imagine it like a cake – you 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 you can see all the layers inside. It gives your optician an incredibly accurate picture of your eye and its structures.
Speaking about the state-of-the-art optical technology, Chairperson of Specsavers Ireland, Kerril Hickey, comments: “This innovative technology gives our opticians the ability to enhance the offering for customers by identifying and helping to detect or manage conditions.
“OCT technology produces such a detailed picture of the structures in the eye that it allows us to identify signs of diseases years earlier than traditional methods. Given that 75% of vision impairment and blindness can be prevented, the sooner we can detect these conditions, the sooner we can help manage them or refer people for treatment.”
The OCT scan is in addition to a thorough eye test, during which the optometrist uses a range of clinical tests and procedures to measure the quality of someone's vision and the health of their eyes.
The scan is also non-contact and painless.
A customer's OCT images are stored on file, so Specsavers optometrists can note any changes over time – a real benefit when monitoring someone's overall eye health.
The good news is that I have better than 20/20 vision so instead of choosing a pair of specs, instead, I picked up a brand new pair of sunglasses. My face was scanned to determine my face shape and select the styles that were best suited to me. From a range that included brands like GANT, Boss, Superdry, Timberland and Jeff Banks, I picked out a Tommy Hilfiger pair that will be customised to my specifications.
I also took a hearing test in store and passed with flying colours.
There's life in this old dog still!
OCT is available in Specsavers stores across Ireland.
For more information on the services available at Specsavers or to make an appointment, please visit www.specsavers.ie/eye-health/ oct-scan.
WATCH OF THE WEEK - TAG HEUER AQUARACER CALIBRE 7 GMT
MY watch of the week is the Tag Heuer Aquaracer from Keanes Jewellers. Unlike the Rolex GMT Master II, which unofficially coined this bi-colour blue and black "Batman" colour scheme, the Aquaracer is positioned as a true dive watch, offering three times the water resistance at 300 meters.
It also differs from the GMT Master from a functional standpoint, as its Calibre 7 engine uses the traditional ETA 2892-A2 as a base — a movement best characterized as a "phone GMT," which enables easy reading of an additional time zone of your choice, as the date and the 24-hour indicator can be quick-adjusted via the crown.
This is especially handy for those of you conducting business between time zones via phone or Zoom during the global pandemic.
However, a "true GMT" execution is what's really ideal for travel, as the hour hand can be quickly adjusted independently from the rest of the watch's functions — upon landing in a new time zone, for example. This particular execution is much less common, usually reserved for pricing airspace well above where TAG Heuer tends to operate.
At 43mm and with a richly detailed blue dial, it's great to see that TAG Heuer didn't increase the case size of the already very bold Aquaracer to accommodate the added utility of the GMT.
The TAG Heuer Aquaracer Calibre 7 GMT in the new blue dial is available now from Keanes and carries a retail price of €2,900.