Early detection, diagnosis and treatment are the keys to preventing vision loss from Macular Degeneration. It is often possible to detect early signs of Macular Degeneration during your regular eye examination, so scheduling regular eye exams is an excellent way to make an early diagnosis of Macular Degeneration. If you are over the age of 40-45 and you have a family history of Macular Degeneration, we recommend that you have a thorough eye examination, including a dilated retinal evaluation, each year. Please be sure to tell our staff if you have a family history of Macular Degeneration. It is also important to know the symptoms of Macular Degeneration. If at any time you experience “distortion” or “twisting”, “shadowing” or “bending” of objects in your vision, you should schedule an appointment immediately.
Dilated Retinal Exam
During your eye examination, eye drops will be used to dilate your pupils in order to carefully examine the macula and retina using various types of instruments and sources of high magnification including special contact lenses and ophthalmoscopes.
Amsler Grid Test
The Amsler Grid Test helps identify distortion of your central vision, and may be a subtle indication of swelling or fluid under the Macula.
Retinal Photographs & Fluorescein Angiography
In order to most precisely diagnose Macular Degeneration, it may be necessary to have detailed color photographs of your macula and retina taken as well as a Fluorescein Angiogram (FA). After a fluorescent dye is injected into your arm, a series of photographs will be taken in rapid succession using a high-speed digital retinal camera as the dye passes throughout the retinal blood vessels. From these pictures it will be possible to see any fluid leakage or new blood vessel growth beneath the retina which will tell us whether certain types of treatments such as VEGF Inhibitor Injections might help stabilize your vision and prevent vision loss. Today, thanks to the advances in treating Wet Macular Degeneration, if caught early, it may be possible to avoid suffering significant vision loss.
Retinal Computer Imaging
We also use the advanced computer imaging technology called OCT or Optical Coherence Tomography that creates digital images of the retina and macula through the use of special beams of light in order to create a contour map of the retina and macula and detect microscopic changes in thickness or the accumulation of fluid beneath the retina or macula. This technique is similar to the CT Scans used to study organ systems and tissues throughout your body.