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Diagnostic Tests for Age-related macular degeneration

Age-related macular degeneration: Diagnostic Tests

The list of diagnostic tests mentioned in various sources as used in the diagnosis of Age-related macular degeneration includes:

Home Diagnostic Testing

These home medical tests may be relevant to Age-related macular degeneration:

Tests and diagnosis discussion for Age-related macular degeneration:

Are You at Risk for Age-Related Macular Degeneration: NEI (Excerpt)

Your eye care professional may suspect AMD if you are over age 60 and have had recent changes in your central vision. To look for signs of the disease, he or she will use eye drops to dilate, or enlarge, your pupils. Dilating the pupils allows your eye care professional to view the back of the eye better.

You may also be asked to view an Amsler grid, a pattern that looks like a checkerboard. Early changes in your central vision will cause the grid to appear distorted, a sign of AMD. (Source: excerpt from Are You at Risk for Age-Related Macular Degeneration: NEI)

Facts About Age-Related Macular Degeneration: NEI (Excerpt)

Eye care professionals detect AMD during an eye examination that includes:

Visual acuity test: This eye chart test measures how well you see at various distances.

Pupil dilation: This examination enables your eye care professional to see more of the retina and look for signs of AMD. To do this, drops are placed into the eye to dilate (widen) the pupil. After the examination, your vision may remain blurred for several hours.

One of the most common early signs of AMD is the presence of drusen. Drusen are tiny yellow deposits in the retina. Your eye care professional can see them during an eye examination. The presence of drusen alone does not indicate a disease, but it might mean that the eye is at risk for developing more severe AMD.

While conducting the examination, your eye care professional may ask you to look at an Amsler grid. This grid is a pattern that resembles a checkerboard. You will be asked to cover one eye and stare at a black dot in the center of the grid. While staring at the dot, you may notice that the straight lines in the pattern appear wavy to you. You may notice that some of the lines are missing. These may be signs of wet AMD (See Amsler Grid below.)

If your eye care professional suspects you have wet AMD, you may need to have a test called fluorescein angiography. In this test, a special dye is injected into a vein in your arm. Pictures are then taken as the dye passes through the blood vessels in the retina. The photos help your eye care professional evaluate leaking blood vessels to determine whether they can be treated. (Source: excerpt from Facts About Age-Related Macular Degeneration: NEI)


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