Your Eye Test for Macular Degeneration
Age-related macular degeneration (or AMD) is one of the leading causes of vision loss in Australia. AMD affects the central part of your vision and will not, by itself, lead to total blindness. In fact, most people affected by AMD will NOT go blind. However, it can lead to permanent loss of central vision which is responsible for reading, seeing faces and driving, so it is essential that this disease is picked up early so that treatment can begin to prevent further vision loss.
What is AMD?
AMD is a loss of central vision that tends to occur in older people. Genetics, smoking and diet are known to play a role, but age is the biggest factor. Oxidative stress to the delicate tissues of the retina and macula leads to changes in the retina. You can read more on our macular degeneration page.
How we test your eyes for macular degeneration
Even with no risk factors, all patients of The Eye Practice have the following tests:
A picture is worth a thousand words, especially when it comes to base-lining the health of your eyes. Capturing the unique appearance of your retina while it is young and relatively healthy, gives us the best possible tool to monitor change in your eyes over time.
OCT (Optical Coherence Tomography)
This is the ultimate test for AMD. It can show what’s going on under the surface, where the earliest signs of AMD can be picked up. See our OCT page for more information.
What if I have age-related macular degeneration?
The first thing is not to panic! 90% of people diagnosed with AMD will have the dry form of the disease, which progresses slowly. Only 10% will have the more severe wet form of the disease. This form needs prompt treatment with injections of a class of drug called anti-VEGF. Although these drugs can’t cure you of AMD or reverse the damage, they are excellent at preventing further vision loss and can even improve vision in some cases.
If you are diagnosed with early signs of AMD, you have plenty of time to look at lifestyle and dietary changes. These include giving up smoking and eating a diet rich in omega 3 fatty acids. If you have this disease, taking supplements can reduce the risk of further progression.
If you have severe AMD, you will need to be referred to a retinal specialist for medical or surgical treatment. At The Eye Practice we work with the best retinal specialists in the country and can arrange a prompt referral where necessary.
Worried about your macular degeneration diagnosis? Call The Eye Practice on (02) 9290 1899 or make an appointment online.