Dry ARMD happens when the macula thins, and scars due to waste products that are unable to be removed by eye.  This often happens very slowly.  Treatment of this is commonly supportive and vitamin supplements can be suggested.

Wet ARMD happens when abnormal blood vessels grow under the retina.  These new blood vessels have weak walls and can leak and bleed into the macula.  Treatment for Wet ARMD is injection of medication into the eye which aims to stop these blood vessels forming and leaking.

Age-related macular degeneration - Coastal Eye Surgeons
Age-related macular degeneration - Coastal Eye Surgeons
Healthy Vision ARMD Vision

Healthy vision versus ARMD-affected vision.

Dilated eye exam
Your doctor may put drops in your eyes that cause your pupils to relax and dilate. This lets them see a magnified view of the macula. They will check for abnormalities such as blood vessel changes or yellowish deposits (called drusen).

Optical coherence tomography (OCT)
This scan allows the ten layers of the retina and macula to be visualised. It uses light waves to take a cross-section image of the back of your eye. It can identify areas that are thinning or thickening due to ARMD, as well as the current activity of the underlying blood vessel which cause bleeding or fluid leakage.

Fluorescein angiography
A special dye is injected into your bloodstream which makes the blood vessels more visible, allowing them to be photographed with a specialised camera.

Amsler Grid
This test is done at home and can help monitor the progression of wet ARMD. Your eye doctor may provide you with a printed copy, or you can download one below.

If your test results indicate macular degeneration, you will usually be referred to an ophthalmologist for further treatment. If this happens, you can ask for a referral to Coastal Eye Surgeons for expert eye treatment.

What’s an Amsler grid and how do I use one?

The Amsler grid is a simple self-monitoring tool that you can use at home. It was invented by an
ophthalmologist named Marc Amsler in 1945. If you are at risk for developing ARMD, your
ophthalmologist may advise you to monitor your vision using an Amsler grid.

An Amsler grid should be used once a day, in good lighting, and while wearing whatever glasses you
usually use to read. To use the grid:

  1. Hold the grid 30-40cm away from your face and cover one eye
  2. Focus your uncovered eye on the dot in the centre of the grid
  3. Without moving your focus from the spot, take note of any abnormalities in the grid. If you see blurry, wavy, dark, or blank patches, contact your ophthalmologist immediately.
  4. Follow the same steps with the other eye.

Some people find it helps to stick an Amsler grid at eye level on the fridge, on the outside of the shower,
or on a door where they see it every day. Making the test an easy part of your daily routine can help you
remember to use it regularly.

Age-related macular degeneration - Coastal Eye Surgeons

Additional Resources

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