Animation: Detecting age-related macular degeneration through a dilated eye exam.

Animation: Detecting age-related macular degeneration through a dilated eye exam.


The Comprehensive Dilated Eye Exam: Opening the Door to Preventing Blindness A doctor can detect signs of
age-related macular degeneration, also known as AMD, during a comprehensive dilated eye exam. The patient receives special eye drops
that dilate the pupils. The pupils open wide allowing the doctor
to see the back of the eye clearly. When eyes are dilated, the doctor can
clearly see the retina, optic nerve and the macula. While examining the retina, he or she can look for signs of AMD. If this patient had AMD, the doctor would
see yellow spots beneath the retina called drusen or dark clumps of pigment. AMD is the main cause of visual
impairment and blindness in older americans. Dilation enables doctors to get a better
view of the back of the eye which allows them to determine whether
there are early symptoms of disease. But it’s important to know that all
people older than 60 need a comprehensive dilated eye exam
each year and should inform their doctor right
away if they begin to have problems with their site. People at higher risk may need to have a
dilated eye exam more often. Risk factors including race, age and family history are all important to
determine how often patients should receive a comprehensive dilated eye exam. To learn more about comprehensive
dilated eye exams, common vision problems and eye disease, visit www.nei.nih.gov/healthyeyes.

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