Age-related Macular Degeneration

Frequently Asked Questions

7. How is AMD detected?

AMD is detected during a comprehensive dilated eye exam that may include

  • a visual acuity test
  • a dilated eye exam
  • an Amsler grid test
  • a fluorescein angiogram
  • or an optical coherence tomography.

The visual acuity test is an eye chart test that measures how well you see at various distances.

In the dilated eye exam, drops are placed in your eyes to widen, or dilate, the pupils. Your eye care professional uses a special magnifying lens to examine your retina and optic nerve for signs of AMD and other eye problems. After the exam, your close-up vision may remain blurred for several hours.

An Amsler grid may be used by your doctor to check for changes in your central vision.

In the fluorescein angiogram, an ophthalmologist injects a fluorescent dye in your arm and takes pictures as the dye passes through the blood vessels in your eye.

In optical coherence tomography, light waves are used to capture images of tissues is the eye.

(Watch the video to learn more about a comprehensive dilated eye exam. To enlarge the video, click the brackets in the lower right-hand corner. To reduce the video, press the Escape (Esc) button on your keyboard.)