Part 3: Q&A with Cataract Surgeon
Mark Pyfer, MD
How do your patients feel about earlier detection of AMD?
“My mom has macular degeneration…”
Many patients have family history. We see patients all the time coming in saying “My mom has macular degeneration, she’s getting injections. I want to know if I am at risk for this disease.” For someone in their mid-50s, 60s and, the clinical exam might show nothing. However the dark adaptation test with the Rod Intercept now allows us to give them an index. A number that we can follow over time and tell them if it is normal or abnormal and then treat them appropriately or watch them more closely.
Empower Patients to Take Action and Manage their AMD
Patients are relieved to know when their AdaptDx test results are normal. But with appropriate counseling, they also appreciate the benefit that we’re giving them in terms of early intervention and surveillance, even if it is abnormal.
We start them on vitamins, we repeat the tests in six months or a year. The retest may actually turn out normal so that’s something to celebrate. Patients feel good about it. They also feel good if it doesn’t change, if it looks like it’s not progressing, if their vision is stable and the exam is stable. Having dark adaptation measurements also will give us another piece of information to tell them they’re stable, they’re progressing or possibly even improving, which is unusual but not unheard.
We are picking up patients in their early 50s who have abnormal dark adaptation, at least for the age of what’s expected, and we can get them into treatment: talk about lifestyle, not just vitamins, but even nutrition, exercise, sun avoidance, avoidance of smoking, even secondhand smoke is significant.