How is an OCT used for macular edema?

Published on
August 20, 2022

About 746,000 Americans over 40 years old suffer from diabetic macular edema. Because this condition is so common it is extremely helpful for optometrists to have the most advanced technology available to diagnose and treat macular edema. At Amplify EyeCare Manhattan we have a sophisticated technology called OCT. 

OCT stands for optical coherence tomography. The OCT is really great for more than just diagnosing macular edema; it can also be used to monitor any progression or determine how the patient is responding to treatment.

How can OCT be used for diagnosing and treating OCT?

What we have specifically is the Maestro OCT, or optical coherence tomography. This is a non-invasive imaging test that uses light waves to create a very detailed image of the back of the eye. It enables us to see all of the distinct layers of the retina.

This can also be used to measure how much swelling occurs in the macula by specifically zoning in on it. We can actually measure and quantify the thickness of the retina and of that macular region where there may be some sort of macular edema, and typically it will show up as some cystic black spaces in that area. 

Additionally, the OCT can also be used to monitor any progression of macular edema or to see how the patient is responding to treatment. When it comes to macular edema, it's important to get treated right away so that we can reduce the swelling. 

The typical treatment is to inject different injections into the affected area in order to reduce swelling. When the patient returns for follow-up, we will take another OCT image and see how well they are responding to treatment and how well they are healing, since we have baseline photos and compare them to the following photos.

What is macular edema?

Macular edema is the buildup of fluid underneath the macula. The macula is the central portion of the back part of your eye responsible for sharp vision. As the fluid builds up underneath the macula, it swells and thickens. 

What are the symptoms of macular edema?

You may experience the following symptoms:

  • Distortions in your vision 
  • Blurry vision that can range from just a slight blur to a very noticeable loss of vision
  • A sudden increase in eye floaters
  • The colours appear faded or washed out

What are the causes of macular edema?

One of the causes of macular edema is damage to the blood vessels in the nearby retina, causing fluid leakage to accumulate underneath the macula, causing macular edema.

There are some medical conditions that result in weak blood vessels that are more prone to damage. Some of these conditions include:

  • If you have diabetes, for example, you are more susceptible to diabetic retinopathy.
  • If you have high blood pressure
  • if you have macular degeneration
  • Or if you have any disease that damages the blood vessels in the retina

How is macular edema diagnosed?

During a macular edema evaluation, we check your acuities and your vision. After we dilate your eyes, we use a magnifying lens to inspect the back part of the eye and your macula to determine if there is any swelling. 

In addition to this method, we also have several other technologies in our office that help us see the back part of the eye and to assess the macula as well.

Schedule a medical eye exam at Amplify EyeCare Manhattan

Having been diagnosed with macular edema or if you suspect macular edema, you probably have many questions and concerns. Visit us today so that we can do a thorough eye examination on you, address any concerns you may have, and determine the best course of treatment for you. You can schedule an eye exam by calling us at (212) 752-6930 or by filling out this form Book an Appointment .

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  • At Amplify with Dr Wernick I was seeking help for seemingly intractable, probably age-related dryness. I've seen other doctors about it, and that has been helpful, but what he explained to me about it and the careful way he answered all my questions gave me so much more of a clear understanding of what is going on (and is not) that I am more able to implement all his and others' recommendations than I was before. And he gave me additional resources for further follow-up. I am most grateful.


    Cynthia Norton

  • Wow! This is a great Eye Care medical facility. I was thoroughly examined by Dr. Pinkhasov for over 2 hours. She made sure to check my eyes for pretty much everything and patiently explained proper care for my eyes. They definitely know how to provide great care and treat their patients right. Now I know why they have such a great reputation and been around for so long.


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  • Dr. Kavner is a gifted diagnostician and orthoptic therapist. He treated me several decades ago for a condition similar to dyslexia. I was having migraines five times per week. I worked with him for about a year and I experienced tremendous improvement (down to 3-4 per year) that has lasted.


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  • Dr. Kavner recommended two types of eye therapy for my daughter. One of them using bio-feedback. In just three sessions she is seeing considerably better. She shouted this morning: Ooh my God! I could not see these letters with my glasses on, and now I can see them without my glasses. If you are willing and able to invest in improving your vision, this is a good place to go to!


    Peter G.

  • Dr. Kavner recommended two types of eye therapy for my daughter. One of them using bio-feedback. In just three sessions she is seeing considerably better. She shouted this morning: Ooh my God! I could not see these letters with my glasses on, and now I can see them without my glasses. If you are willing and able to invest in improving your vision, this is a good place to go to!


    Kinkie F.

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