Improving the Rod Intercept
“I’m a big believer that nutraceutical treatment of age-related macular degeneration (AMD) can be an effective way to manage the disease. In my practice, not only have I observed slower disease progression, some patients’ Rod Intercept® (RI®) scores have improved.
The following is an example of a case in which an RI score improved after 9 months of carotenoid supplementation.” – Dr. Timothy Earley
Connie is a 60-year-old, blue-eyed white female. When she came to see me, she stated that she was having issues driving at night. The truth was, she had stopped driving at night and relied on her spouse to take her places. She didn’t have any clinically significant lens changes – her exam looked clear. In fact, with lenses this beautiful, I was concerned that something else was going on. For years in our profession, when a patient had a night vision complaint, we immediately thought it was due to cataract. In Connie’s case I explained my concerns that it could be macular degeneration and suggested that we test her dark adaptation using the AdaptDx®.
In our practice we have special testing days for AMD, so we scheduled Connie for an appointment. She failed the test on her right eye at a time of 9.07, indicating subclinical AMD without the presence of visible drusen.
I explained the diagnosis and prescribed a carotenoid supplement, which she started taking immediately. Connie returned in 3 months for a follow-up test on her left eye which she also failed at 8.5 minutes. In both instances, her test results were highly reliable. I asked Connie to come back in six months to take the test again. The second test of her right eye showed a notable improvement – a RI time of 6.99.
Plan of Action
This is more than an isolated instance in my practice. This case, and others like it, show that nutritional supplementation can help patients. Early identification of AMD risk factors and symptoms, like night vision complaints, is critical. We can do this by asking every patient over age 50 about their night vision, testing their dark adaptation, and recommending carotenoid supplementation and lifestyle changes for those who need it.
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Read more about how fellow colleagues utilize AdaptDx® technology to help improve AMD patient outcomes and their practices.
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