Macular degeneration is an eye disease that can lead to loss of vision. The condition leads to a loss in the central field of vision, and it can be dry or wet. In dry macular degeneration, there is deterioration in the center of the retina.
With wet macular degeneration, there is the growth of leaky blood vessels under the retina. There is no cure for the condition, but treatment can help to reduce symptoms. It is important to get a medical diagnosis for macular degeneration.
Eye Examination And Testing
Ophthalmologists or optometrists can diagnose the condition during a comprehensive eye examination. An accurate diagnosis will require examination as well as special tests like angiography, retinal photography, and optical coherence tomography.
During the comprehensive examination, the eye specialist will dilate the eyes to magnify the macula. Inspecting the macula and other eye structures will help in coming up with a diagnosis.
Dilated Eye Examination
The eye doctor will use eye drops to dilate the pupils and get a good view of the back of the retina. The dilation will allow the doctor to check for signs of diseases. This includes retinal disease and optic nerve damage.
A dilated retinal exam will allow the doctor to view the macular effectively. The doctor may notice a mottled appearance due to pigmentary changes occurring in the macular as well as drusen. Drusen are yellow-covered deposits, which form under the retina.
Optical Coherence Tomography
OCT or Optical Coherence Tomography is a test that ophthalmologists and optometrists use to take images of the back of the eye. This region includes the macula, retina, optic nerve, and choroid.
The OCT can help to identify parts of the retina that may be thinning, which indicates signs of geographic atrophy. The OCT test can reveal changes in the retina in great detail, making it more effective than other instruments.
Ophthalmoscopy involves the use of an ophthalmoscope to examine the interior of the eyes. The instrument is used especially when examining the retina. It has a mirror that works by reflecting light to the eye and a hole in the center for examining the eye.
Using the instrument, the doctor can detect damage or any changes to the retina or macula. This can help in determining if a patient has macular degeneration.
This test involves the use of a special dye that the doctors inject into the patients’ bloodstream. The doctor will then take photographs of the circulation of the dye inside the eye. If the photos reveal fluorescent patches, the doctor may determine that the retina has leaking blood vessels. This could be a sign of macular degeneration.
Additional Tests For Detection Of AMD
Other tests can detect macular degeneration. The tests include Tonometry that measures pressure in the eyes and Fundus Autofluorescence that uses light to inspect the retina. An Ambler Grid can help to detect blank or blurry spots in the field of vision.
If you experience any sudden vision changes, it is important to visit an eye doctor immediately. When detected early, doctors can slow down macular degeneration.
For more information on detecting macular degeneration, visit Village Optical at our office in New Hyde Park, New York. You can call (516) 352-2316 today to schedule an appointment.