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Zeiss Cirrus OCT: optometrist and AOP Awards 2015 Optometrist of the Year, Dr Martin Smith, explains why he has not looked back since purchasing the Zeiss Cirrus OCT.

I have been using my Zeiss Cirrus OCT since 2009, when I took the plunge and decided to invest what seemed to be an incredibly large amount of money in the technology. Yet, from day one I have never looked back.

I recommend optical coherence topography (OCT) as part of a routine sight test to all of my patients over the age of 40, and use it extensively when performing other consultations too.

When I first decided to invest in an OCT device, after extensive research I opted for the Zeiss Cirrus as it is the OCT of choice for my local hospital department. I thought that it would be helpful if I was referring on the basis of OCT results, they were presented in a format familiar to the consultants.

A versatile tool

I find the Zeiss Cirrus OCT a versatile instrument. Its anterior segment capabilities generate dynamic images of the angle and how it changes with variations in illumination, as well as corneal images for pachymetry or to provide a view of corneal pathology.

The scanning laser image shows up diabetic retinopathy and vitreous floaters in perfect detail. And year-on-year sequential optic nerve measurements using the tool's guided progression analysis are an incomparable method for detecting early pre-perimetric glaucomatous retinal nerve fiber layer loss and establishing a structure-function relationship in glaucoma.

Scans of the macula frequently reveal changes that are undetectable in a conventional examination. Overall, there are very few posterior segment pathologies that the OCT does not provide some additional insight into.


This OCT can also give images where all else fails--even through a cataract that looks opaque to visible light, the OCT will provide an image good enough to verify that the macula is flat and the retinal pigment epithelium photoreceptor is intact. This enables me to refer a patient for cataract removal with confidence that their vision has the potential to improve.

Small pupils present no problem think about that patient on pilocarpine whose macula and discs you haven't seen properly for years. I warn though, the device doesn't like scanning through corneal opacities. However, I can confidently say that my OCT device has saved the sight of some of my patients, usually due to the detection of a subtle macula oedema that has been undetectable with any other method.

While benefits are aplenty, OCT is certainly not a replacement for any of the other instruments that I routinely use, and should always be used in conjunction with a conventional examination.

As an educational tool for patients, this OCT is wonderful. Above the instrument itself I have a 32" monitor, on which I display the scans. This means that I can explain to patients what I am looking at, and compare them with the previous year's scans so they can see what has changed.

I regard my OCT as an invaluable asset to the practice, but also one which pays its way too, whilst improving patient retention. I wouldn't practise without one.

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Title Annotation:Marketplace: Services and products for the practitioner
Author:Smith, Martin
Publication:Optometry Today
Article Type:Column
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Apr 1, 2016
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