Is There a Test for Macular Degeneration?

Is There a Test for Macular Degeneration?

Posted under Eye Conditions

Awareness of macular degeneration is increasing as the baby boomer population continues to age. In generations long ago, family members knew that grandma or grandpa had lost some of their vision, but they didn’t know why there was loss of vision or the name of the eye disease.  Now thanks to years of research and better diagnostic testing, so much more is known and understood about this retinal condition.

One thing we know is that there is a strong genetic component, which means that if one of your parents or one of your siblings has macular degeneration, you are at a much higher risk for developing age related macular degeneration (AMD). My husband’s father has wet macular degeneration as did many of his father’s brothers and sisters.  So of course we’d like to know as soon as possible if any early signs of AMD start to appear.  However, there are also many people who develop AMD who do not have any family history or the commonly known risk factors.

So how do you find out if your eyes are at risk for  developing the number one cause of legal blindness in seniors?  Or how do you find out if your changes in vision like loss of visual sharpness, the need for more light or sensitivity to glare are symptoms of macular degeneration?  Perhaps you have been told that you have dry macular degeneration and are now wondering if it has progressed to wet macular degeneration.

Several different macular degeneration tests are now available that provide useful information for determining one’s risk for AMD, diagnosing early signs of dry macular degeneration or checking to see if one’s dry AMD has turned to wet AMD.   Some tests are done by special machines that can check changes in the retina and some can be done at home to monitor vision changes.   Retina specialists are needed for some tests while general opthhamologists or optometrists can perform general testing of the retina.

There are many benefits to finding out if you are at high risk for developing AMD or have a diagnosis of AMD.  Early intervention whether it is through diet, lifestyle changes, supplements or treatment can have positive results in halting, reversing or slowing the progression of macular degeneration and the vision changes that come with it.

Get informed about what diagnostic tests are available and if you or someone you know should be asking your eye care professional about performing these tests.

Macular Degeneration Tests

Leslie Degner, RN, BSN