Ophthalmologists conduct
a comprehensive eye exam
to identify age-related
macular degeneration.

Diagnosis of Age-Related Macular Degeneration (AMD)

How is AMD detected?

To look for signs of the disease, your ophthalmologist will conduct a comprehensive eye exam that includes:

Visual acuity test: This eye chart test measures how well you see at various distances.

Dilated eye exam: Your retina ophthalmologist will use special drops to enlarge the pupils. Dilating the pupils gives the doctor a better view of the back of your eye. They will use a special magnifying lens to examine your retina and optic nerve for signs of AMD and other eye problems. After a dilated exam, your close-up vision may remain blurred for several hours.

Tonometry: Your retina vitreous specialist uses an instrument called a tonometry "pen" to measure the pressure inside the eye. The ophthalmologist will likely apply numbing drops to your eye for this test.

Amsler Grid: You may be asked to look at an Amsler Grid chart that resembles a checkerboard. You will cover one eye and stare at the black dot in the center of the grid. If, while staring at the dot, you notice that the straight lines appear wavy or that some of the lines are missing, you may have AMD.

Photo Credit: National Eye Institute, National Institutes of Health