Age-related Macular Degeneration

Detection

The early and intermediate stages of 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 provides 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, shown here.
  • Changes in your central vision may cause the lines in the grid to disappear or appear wavy, a sign of AMD.