Ocular ultrasound is a diagnostic test that allows you to thoroughly analyze the structures of the eye. In particular:
- the internal structures of the eye (vitreous, crystalline body, retina, etc.). In this case we speak of bulbar ultrasound;
- tissues present in the orbital cavity such as extraocular muscles and orbital fat. It is then an orbital ultrasound.
Together with computed tomography (CT) and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), ocular ultrasound is the only examination that allows you to view the orbital content and is therefore essential to diagnose with certainty even serious diseases such as intraocular tumors and various lesions: lesions of the extraocular muscles, optic nerve in the infraorbital tract, lacrimal gland and vascular and non-vascular orbital lesions.
The examination is carried out through the use of ultrasound. The patient is requested to lie on a bed and gel is placed over his closed eyelids. The doctor gently passes a probe equipped with a piezoelectric crystal over the eyelids that “explores” the soft tissues deep inside the eyeball or orbit and reports an image observable on the screen.
There are two types of ocular ultrasound:
- A-scan ultrasound, measures the length of the eyeball and is useful for distinguishing abnormal eye tissue from normal eye tissue;
- B-scan ultrasound, shows a two-dimensional image and allows the exploration of the axial, longitudinal and transverse planes.
Ocular ultrasound is not a painful examination, does not involve any risk of damage to the eye and can be repeated frequently to monitor the progression or regression of a pathology.