Macular degeneration Diagnosis

  • Diagnosis

    If you are having trouble with your central vision, your primary care doctor can conduct tests with the vision chart in the office to see if your vision is impaired. You will be asked to read from the eye chart; if your vision is poor, you may also be asked to read the chart with a small pinhole placed over your glasses. If your vision improves while reading through the pinhole, you may just need a new pair of glasses. If your vision does not improve, your doctor will refer you to an ophthalmologist, or eye doctor, for more tests.

    The ophthalmologist will put drops in your eye, and then look in the back of your eye for the drusen, or hard deposits, that are typically seen in people with dry ARMD.

    If your ophthalmologist suspects that you might have wet ARMD, he or she will first look in the back of your eye for abnormal fluid or to see if your retina has become detached from the rest of your eye. He or she may then do a special test called a fluorescein angiogram. This test involves putting flourescein dye into the blood vessels of your eye while taking pictures. Your ophthalmologist will inject the dye through a vein in your arm, and then take special pictures of your eye, looking for leaky blood vessels.

  • Prevention and Screening

    Some people take antioxidant vitamins to try to prevent ARMD. So far, there is no scientific research that confirms taking such vitamins will help prevent ARMD.

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