Although the eye is the window to the body, there are times when it is not possible to adequately view the interior structures of the eye. This may occur from a dense cataract, cloudiness of the cornea, or the inability to adequately dilate the pupils. In these situations, ultrasound can be used to "see" inside the eye. Most often, this is done to see if there is detachment of the retina or bleeding into the vitreous cavity. Diagnostic ultrasound is also used to evaluate growths and tumors inside the eye that cannot otherwise be manipulated or biopsied. Such lesions can be measured and monitored over time with diagnostic B-scan ultrasonography.
A different version of ultrasonography called the A-scan mode is used to determine the axial length of the eye. This procedure is performed prior to every cataract surgery. With this highly accurate test, the cataract surgeon can determine the correct power of intraocular lens to implant into the eye after removing the cataract. Accurate determination of the intraocular lens power can minimize or limit the need for glasses after cataract surgery.
The ophthalmic ultrasound service at Loyola uses state-of-the-art ultrasound equipment to provide both diagnostic B-scan and A-scan evaluations for an array of ocular pathology.