• How is AMD Diagnosed and Treated?

    Written By: Kierstan Boyd
    May. 17, 2018

    During an eye exam, your ophthalmologist may ask you to look at an Amsler grid. This grid helps you notice any blurry or blank spots in your field of vision. Your ophthalmologist will also look inside your eye through a special lens. He or she can see if there are changes in the retina and macula.

    Your ophthalmologist will put dilating eye drops in your eye to widen your pupil. This allows him or her to look through a special lens at the inside of your eye.

    Your doctor may do fluorescein angiography to see what is happening with your retina. Yellow dye (called fluorescein) is injected into a vein, usually in your arm. The dye travels through your blood vessels. A special camera takes photos of the retina as the dye travels throughout its blood vessels. This shows if abnormal new blood vessels are growing under the retina.

    Optical coherence tomography (OCT) is another way to look closely at the retina. A machine scans the retina and provides very detailed images of the retina and macula.

    Age-Related Macular Degeneration Treatment

    Dry AMD treatment

    Right now, there is no way to treat the dry form of AMD. However people with lots of drusen or serious vision loss might benefit from taking a certain combination of nutritional supplements. A large study found those people may slow their dry AMD by taking these vitamins and minerals daily:

    • Vitamin C (500 mg)
    • Vitamin E (400 IU)
    • Lutein (10 mg)
    • Zeaxanthin (2 mg)
    • Zinc (80 mg)
    • Copper (2 mg)

    Your ophthalmologist can tell you if vitamins and minerals are recommended for your dry AMD.

    Wet AMD treatment

    To help treat wet AMD, there are medications called anti-VEGF drugsAnti-VEGF treatment helps reduce the number of abnormal blood vessels in your retina. It also slows any leaking from blood vessels. This medicine is delivered to your eye through a very slender needle.

    Laser surgery may also be used to treat some types of wet AMD. Your eye surgeon shines a laser light beam on the abnormal blood vessels. This reduces the number of vessels and slows their leaking.

    Talk with your ophthalmologist about ways to treat your AMD.