What is Ocular Ultrasound?
This is a painless test that makes use of high-frequency sound waves to image the inside of the eye. The ultrasound allows your retinal surgeon to image the inside of the eye even when there is no way to see into the eye on the clinical exam.
How is this test performed?
Ocular ultrasound is similar to an ultrasound obtained in any other part of the body. First a gel is placed either directly on the eye or on the eyelid. Then the ultrasound probe is placed gently in the gel to obtain the image. Sometimes you can feel minor vibrations from the ultrasound but there is no pain. The entire test takes only a few minutes. There are usually no side effects of this test.
When is Ocular Ultrasound performed?
The images obtained from this test provide information about the general structures inside of the eye. It is helpful when the retinal surgeon cannot see into the eye during the exam because of a bad cataract or a dense vitreous hemorrhage. It is most often used to identify complications of diabetic retinopathy such as retinal detachments and to help determine if a lesion in the eye is a choroidal melanoma (figure 2).