macular degeneration diagnosis

Diagnosis of Macular Degeneration

Diagnosis of Macular Degeneration: Wet & Dry AMD at Center for Sight serving Fall River, Massachusetts and greater Providence, Rhode Island

By Robert Kelly, M.D.

The diagnosis of Macular Degeneration (AMD) at Center for Sight in Fall River is part of what our eye doctors do to help preserve eye health and vision. As with most eye conditions and diseases, it is important to have routine eye examinations.  By scheduling regular eye exams, you are giving yourself the advantage of allowing the Center for Sight eye doctors to make an early diagnosis of Macular Degeneration. More importantly, if at any time you experience any “distortion” or “twisting”, “shadowing” or “bending” of objects in your vision, you should schedule an appointment at Center for Sight immediately.  Be sure to let the receptionist know that you are experiencing these symptoms.

If you are over the age of 40-45 and anyone in your family has been told that they have Macular Degeneration, it is a good idea to have a complete eye examination each year.  Make certain that you tell the eye doctors and staff at Center for Sight if you have a family history of Macular Degeneration.

During your eye examination, eye drops will be put in your eyes to dilate your pupils in order to carefully examine the Macula and Retina using various types of instruments and sources of high magnification.

Additional tests that your doctor may perform to further evaluate the Macula during your eye examination can include checking your color vision and an Amsler Grid Test, which helps identify distortion of your central vision, and may be an indication of swelling or fluid under the Macula.

Amsler Grid

While it may appear simple, the Amsler Grid Test is actually a very significant test.  By using the Amsler Grid, it is possible to detect small changes in your vision that can result from the accumulation of just a small amount of fluid under your Macula.  Your doctor may actually recommend that you take an Amsler Grid home and use it each day to check for slight changes in your vision.  If this is necessary, the Center for Sight eye doctor and staff will supply you with an Amsler Grid and detailed instructions on how to use it.

If your doctor detects any signs of Macular Degeneration or he or she believes that you may be at risk for Macular Degeneration, they will schedule an appointment for you with Center for Sight Retinal Specialist Robert Kelly, M.D. as additional testing may be necessary. Dr. Kelly may find it necessary for you to have some specialized color pictures taken of the Macula and Retina.  The two most common tests are Intravenous Fluorescein Angiogram (IVF) and Optical Coherence Tomography (OCT).  During an IVF a special fluorescent dye is injected into a vein in your arm.  By using a high speed digital camera, a series of photographs will be taken in rapid succession as the dye passes throughout the retinal blood vessels.  From these pictures, if present, Dr. Kelly will be able to see any fluid leakage or new blood vessel growth beneath the Retina.  An OCT test does not require any injections.  It uses light waves in a fashion similar to ultrasound to very precisely measure your retina.  Dr. Kelly will be able to see if you have fluid in your Retina, and if so, how much.  This test is especially useful to monitor for change.  Both the IVF and OCT tests will also show any changes or damage to the Macula and retina and the extent of the changes.  Most important, these test give Dr. Kelly a considerable amount of information regarding whether certain types of treatments such as Laser Treatment for Macular Degeneration or Intravitreal Injections such as Eylea® or Lucentis® might help stabilize your vision and prevent vision loss.  Today, thanks to the advances in treating Wet Macular Degeneration, if caught early, it may be possible to avoid significant vision loss.

Macular Degeneration is a complex eye disease. Fortunately with early diagnosis it is possible to have a number of treatment options available to help preserve your vision.

If you, a family member or friend have not had a recent eye examination or if you feel that you may be at risk for Macular Degeneration and need to have an exam for the diagnosis of Macular Degeneration (AMD), please schedule an appointment by calling Center for Sight in Fall River, Massachusetts at 508-730-2020.

Center for Sight is conveniently located for patients in need of an exam for the diagnosis of Macular Degeneration (AMD) in Massachusetts or Rhode Island from Attleboro, Fairhaven, Fall River, Franklin, Mansfield, Marion, Mattapoisett, Medfield, Milford, New Bedford, North Attleboro, North Dartmouth, Norton, Oxford, Rehoboth, Somerset, Swansea, Taunton, Walpole, Whitinsville, Woonsocket, Providence, Smithfield, Westport, Lakeville, Dighton, Little Compton and Tiverton.