An ocular ultrasound measures the size and structure of the eye. At Riley at IU Health, your child’s ophthalmologist may suggest this test to detect retinal detachment, tumors or choroidal lesions. For children who have had an eye injury, an ocular ultrasound may be used in the emergency room to detect a globe rupture or foreign object in the eye. In addition, this may be used to check intracranial pressure, which can rise when the fluid around the brain or spine are affected by brain or spinal cord injuries or conditions.
There are two types of ocular ultrasounds:
Ocular ultrasounds take about 15 minutes. An ultrasound wand is placed against the front surface of the eye or the eyelids. High-frequency sound waves travel through the eye, and the echoes from the sound waves form a picture.
It is not necessary to bring anything or take any steps to prepare for an ocular ultrasound. Numbing drops are placed in your child’s eyes. To get the best image, your child may be asked to look in different directions.
For the A-scan, a probe is placed against the front of the eye. If your child is having a B-scan, a gel is placed on the eyelids, and the test is done with the eyes closed.
Your child should not feel any discomfort or pain since the eyes are numb.
The numbing medication should wear off in about 15 minutes. During this time, your child should avoid rubbing the eyes to protect the cornea from being scratched.
Riley at IU Health offers a broad range of supportive services to make life better for families who choose us for their children's care.
This professional organization publishes content to educate ophthalmologists and the general public about eye care, including an article about ocular ultrasound.
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