The best way to detect Macular Degeneration is through regular eye examinations. In addition to your routine eye exams, if you should ever experience “distortion”, “twisting”, “shadowing” or “bending” of your vision, you should call our office immediately and schedule an appointment. It is also important the alert the receptionist to the fact that you are experiencing these symptoms.
For anyone over the age of 40-45 who has a family member with Macular Degeneration, having regular eye examinations is especially important as Macular Degeneration seems to run in families. At your eye examination, be sure to tell Drs. Alterman, Modi or Wolter that you have a family history of Macular Degeneration.
During your eye examination, after first dilating your pupils with some eye drops, the doctors will use specialized instruments that provide high magnification and illumination to carefully observe the Macula. In addition they may evaluate the Macula during your eye examination by testing your color vision and performing an Amsler Grid Test, which helps identify distortion of your central vision, and may be an early indication of swelling or fluid under the Macula.
If you manifest any signs or symptoms of Macular Degeneration at your routine eye examination, or due to your family history or health you are at risk for Macular Degeneration, the doctors may order some additional testing to obtain a more precise evaluation of your Retina and macula. These may include color photographs and a test called an Intravenous Fluorescein Angiogram (IVF). The IVF is an important test used to study the health and circulation of the Macula and Retina. Performing an IVF requires that a fluorescent dye be injected into a vein in your arm followed by taking a series of digital photographs of the Retina and Macula as the dye courses throughout the Retinal circulation. This type of specialized photography will allow the detection of any fluid leakage or neovascularization underneath the Retina as well as ascertain whether there are other subtle or more extensive changes that could predispose you to vision loss. Most important, the IVF provides a great deal of information about whether certain treatment options might be useful or appropriate. The IVF then provides diagnostic information useful for considering laser treatment for macular degeneration, Visudyne Photodynamic Therapy, Macugen Injections or Lucentis Injections as a possible treatment option. The key to preventing vision loss from Macular Degeneration is early detection and diagnosis.
Please contact Seeta Eye Centers at (845) 485-5712 to learn more about the diagnosis of macular degeneration in Poughkeespie.