Ocular ecography

Medical content revised by - Last revision 10/09/2021
Ocular ecography

What is an ocular ecography?

Ocular and orbital ecography, also known as ultrasonography or ocular ultrasound, is an imaging test that allows us to observe the structures of the eyeball even when there is a lack of transparency or opacity of the cornea or when we want to observe in detail parts of the orbit and the tissues around the eye.

What is it used for

There are several types of ocular ultrasound and each one is suitable for specific cases:

Ultrasound A, A-Scan or one-dimensional ultrasound

It is used to:

  • Measure the size of eye structures
  • Calculate the power of the intraocular lens needed in cataract surgery.

Ultrasound B, B-Scan or two-dimensional ultrasound

Through this test, images and videos of the inside of the eye and the orbit can be obtained. It is used to:

  • Assess the inside of the eye in case of opacity of optical media (due to corneal opacity, vitreous hemorrhage or advanced cataract).
  • Assess the texture of the interior of ocular tumors for differential diagnosis.
  • Look for foreign bodies after or eye injuries.

UBM or ultrabiomicroscopy

It is a high frequency ultrasound and is used to obtain images of the anterior segment of the eyeball. Obtains high definition images that are necessary to assess before implantation of phakic lenses in refractive surgery and patients with:

Before the test

Ultrasounds A and B do not require any particular preparation or pupil dilation. For these tests it is not necessary to take a break from contact lenses, but it is advisable not to wear them.

However, the UBM should be performed without contact lenses and anesthetic drops are administered for the placement of a separator between the eyelids, thus avoiding the possible discomfort of the separator.

After the test

Ultrasounds A and B are considered a non-invasive technique, so they do not require direct contact with the eye and do not produce adverse reactions. After the test, therefore, any day-to-day activity can be performed without any problem.

As for UBM, when administering anesthetic drops, the patient will not be able to use contact lenses until a couple of hours after the drops have been administered.

How is it done?

For ultrasounds A and B, a small amount of gel is applied over the ultrasound probe and the probe is placed gently against the eyelids to perform the examination. The patient should remain with the eyes closed while the optometrist performs the test.

In the case of UBM, anesthetic drops are administered in order to facilitate keeping the eyes open through a separator, the ocular surface is covered with saline to ensure transmission of the ultrasound signal, and a probe is gently slid over the saline, which never comes into contact with the eye.

The test takes only a few minutes and is performed by an ophthalmologist. Once the data has been collected, the ophthalmologist will be in charge of interpreting the results and transmitting them during the next visit.

Part of the result of an ocular ultrasound.

Frequently Asked Questions

Do A and B ultrasound scans cause any discomfort, and what about UBM?

Ultrasounds A and B are considered a non-invasive technique, they do not contact the eye and therefore do not cause any type of discomfort.

In the case of UBM, it is slightly invasive and therefore the discomfort is minimal.

Do I have to be accompanied?

No, this test does not require you to be accompanied by another person.

Do I have to come fasting?

No, it is not necessary to fast for the test.

How long does it take to obtain the test results?

The results are obtained at the same time the test is performed. If a report is required by an ophthalmologist, the test report will be sent to you within a few days.

Can the optometrist interpret the test result at the time of the test?

The optometrist is the one in charge of performing the test and has the knowledge to confirm its correct performance. It is up to the ophthalmologist to interpret and report the results obtained, who will do so in the clinical context after a complete anamnesis and examination of the patient.

Can I drive after the test and can I take a shower?

Yes, after the test it is possible to carry out any daily activity, such as driving or showering.

Can make-up be used after the test?

Yes, there is no inconvenience in using make-up after this test.

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