Macular Degeneration and Aging

Optical coherence tomography (OCT) is an imaging test that provides detailed images of the layers in the optic nerve and retina. Similar to an ultrasound test, OCT utilizes light waves instead of sound waves to direct focused light beams into the patient’s eye. The light beams are then reflected out of the eye. Once processed, eye care professionals are provided with detailed cross-sectional images depicting different structures in the eye. OCT is a simple and non-invasive test that takes roughly 15 minutes to complete.


Spectralis is an ophthalmic testing system manufactured by Heidelberg Engineering. The Spectralis proprietary system utilizes optical coherence tomography (OCT) and other diagnostic technology. Using Spectralis technology, eye care professionals can measure key ocular characteristics such as retinal thickness and create highly-detailed images of the patient’s retina and optic nerve. Eye care professionals often utilize the Spectralis system to diagnose glaucoma and macular diseases such as age-related macular degeneration (AMD) and macular edema.

Spectralis Research

The American Academy of Ophthalmology (AAO) published a study on the Spectralis OCT in its journal, Ophthalmology. Research indicated that the Spectralis provided eye care professionals with a more effective ability to detect glaucoma in patients. Spectralis images are magnified to an impressive one micron, or a thousandth of a millimeter. These images reveal individual cells and microscopic retinal layers.

Spectralis Innovations

The Spectralis system combines traditional OCT with other platforms to provide eye care professionals with high-quality innovations in eye care technology. Spectralis offers TruTrack technology to track the patient’s eye during imaging. Eye tracking in conjunction with dual-beam imaging can minimize motion artifacts that can interfere with the results of the image. This technology also allows for noise reduction to deliver more precise image detailing and enables the device to track change more precisely over time. This results in point-to-point correlation between OCT and fundus scans and improved image clarity and detail.

Spectralis has also combined SD-OCT with confocal scanning laser ophthalmoscopy (cSLO). This provides multiple retinal perspectives, helping to redefine disease diagnosis and treatment. cSLO uses laser light instead of traditional bright white light when illuminating the retina. Confocal imaging uses a focused laser beam to scan an object point by point. Then, the reflected light is captured through a confocal pinhole, or small aperture, in the device and suppress the light that is scattered or reflected from outside the focal plane. This prevents the image from appearing blurry and results show a sharp and high-contrast image.