Getting Tested for AMD
Over the past several decades, tremendous advances have been made in our ability to test for and diagnose age-related macular degeneration (AMD). Your doctor may examine your retina for physical signs of impairment, assess how well your retina is functioning, and test your visual acuity and risk factors. While not exhaustive, below is an overview of current methods used to assess, diagnose, and monitor AMD.
Your doctor will put dilating eye drops in your eyes to widen your pupil. This allows them to examine your retina. Several tests may be used to evaluate physical changes. Some of these include:
- Clinical examination with slit lamp
- Fundus Fluorescein Angiography (FFA)
- Optical Coherence Tomography (OCT)
- Fundus Autofluorescence Imaging (AF)
Retinal Function Assessment
Because changes in your ability to see in the dark after being exposed to bright light is the first sign of AMD, testing for dark adaptation function is the most accurate way to detect functional impairment consistent with early AMD. It is also helpful for monitoring the disease progression.
- AdaptDx Pro® automated dark adaptometer
Visual Performance Evaluations
Visual acuity is not usually affected in early stages of the disease, but it is useful to test for good measure. Even though not reliable as diagnostic tools, administering these tests allows your doctor to monitor progression of the disease in its more advanced stages.
- Visual acuity (“eye chart”)
- Amsler Grid
- Contrast Sensitivity
- Macular Visual Field
- Color Vision
Risk Factor Testing
Several tests can be administered to assess the likelihood of developing AMD. These are not diagnostic tools, but are used to identify patients who are at high risk for macular degeneration.
- Macular Pigment Optical Density (MPOD)
- Family History
- Genetic Testing