The early and intermediate stages of age-related macular degeneration (AMD) usually start without symptoms. Only a comprehensive dilated eye exam can detect AMD. The eye exam may include the following:
�Visual acuity test. This eye chart measures how well you see at distances.
�Dilated eye exam. Your eye care professional places drops in your eyes to widen or dilate the pupils. This gives him or her a better view of the back of your eye. Using a special magnifying lens, he or she then looks at your retina and optic nerve for signs of AMD and other eye problems.
�Amsler grid. Your eye care professional also may ask you to look at an Amsler grid. Changes in your central vision may cause the lines in the grid to disappear or appear wavy, a sign of AMD.
�Fluorescein angiogram. Your eye care professional may suggest you see an ophthalmologist to perform a fluorescein angiogram. With this test, your doctor injects a dye into your arm. Pictures are taken as the dye passes through the blood vessels in your eye. The test allows your doctor to identify leaking blood vessels and decide the best treatment.
Your eye care professional may also do other tests to learn more about the structure and health of your eye.
For all of the NEI information on this topic, please visit the following webpages:
Facts About Age-Related Macular Degeneration
What is a comprehensive dilated eye exam?
For more information from other health sites, please visit the following webpage:
MedlinePlus, Visual acuity test