OPTICIANS in Bradford have invested more than £60,000 in hospital-quality technology which can help detect treatable eye conditions such as macular degeneration, sooner.

The Optical Coherence Tomography (OCT) machine, which is available for all customers at Specsavers Idle and Shipley, is a cutting-edge piece of equipment, usually found in hospital eye departments.

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, allows an optician to look deeper into the eyes than ever before and it can help to detect glaucoma up to four years in advance.

Bhrat Phakey, director at Specsavers Idle and Shipley, said: “This investment gives us the ability to enhance the services to the local community by identifying and helping to detect or 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.

A customer’s OCT images will be stored on file so we can help 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.

Specsavers stores throughout England remain open for all eye care and hearing needs in accordance with government guidelines.

The company is encouraging all its customers to keep their appointments to ensure that they protect their eye and hearing health after research by the retailer showed that a third of people in the UK noticed a deterioration in their eyesight and others in their hearing during the first lockdown[1].

Specsavers will also continue to offer its remote services for people who are self-isolating, vulnerable or unable to leave their home. These include: • RemoteCare – a free nationwide consultation service offering advice and care via video and telephone link • Online shopping – glasses and contact lenses can be bought online with a current prescription • Ask The Expert - a web-based and Facebook group designed to give people access to professionals seven days a week, who can answer questions about general eye and hearing health concerns In line with NHS recommendations, Specsavers colleagues use personal protective equipment (PPE) throughout the stores, wear face masks and other PPE during tests, and all testing equipment and frames are thoroughly sanitised before and after each use.

Customers are also asked to request an appointment in advance by phone or online through the Specsavers website to help manage social distancing and minimise time spent in store.