There are many forms of Macular Degeneration but the most common is Age-related macular degeneration (AMD). This usually affects people over 60, but can happen earlier. It is the most common cause of sight loss in the developed world. In the UK over 600,000 people are affected.
AMD is becoming more prevalent in the ageing population. It has 2 forms, Dry and Wet and early diagnosis and monitoring is vital to improve long term visual outcomes.
The largest advance in detection of macula degeneration has been the introduction of "Optical Coherence Tomography" scanning. Using an OCT, our Optometrists can scan through the retina to the layers underneath and detect early signs of AMD even before you have any symptoms. Where early signs are detected, OCT scanning at appropriate intervals can help us to monitor changes so that intervention and treatment can be commenced as soon as possible.
In the early stages of Dry AMD, some patients require counselling, and advice on simple strategies e.g. advice on lighting, diet, dietary supplements, environmental factors, risk factors (e.g. smoking), treatment options and visual prognosis. We can regularly assess your visual performance including visual acuity, central visual field testing & contrast sensitivity. In conjunction with OCT scanning, dilated indirect ophthalmoscopy is done on a regular basis to watch for signs of wet AMD.