Detecting Macular Degeneration
Regular eye examinations won’t prevent your chance of developing MD, but early detection is vital in slowing progression.
During a full eye examination your optometrist will directly assess your macula using an ophthalmoscope and take a digital retinal image (DRI). If these tests raise any concern, or for people in MD risk categories (including being over 50), we will recommend OCT which provides a three-dimensional highly magnified cross section image of the macula.
Our optometrists will always check the health of your macula during a full eye examination, but if you want extra assurance or more advanced macular imaging to be performed, please advise your optometrist at the start of the examination and they will describe the full options that are available to you at GJO.
Digitial Retinal Imaging (DRI)
At GJO we capture a digital image of the retina including the macula, optic nerve head, and surrounding blood vessels. Digital retinal imaging provides a detailed image of the macular surface that can be magnified using our modern imaging technology, but just as importantly it provides a permanent record that can be used to assess for changes over time. The best detection for early signs of MD is to be able to compare back to previously captured images.
Optical Coherence Tomography (OCT)
The OCT scan is a brand new technology that allows us to measure retinal and macular thickness through high resolution imaging. It has quickly become the gold standard for assessing risk of macular degeneration and is essentially like taking an MRI through the layers of the retina to give our optometrists more detailed information about the retina to help early detection of macular generation. The OCT at GJO utilises cutting edge technology to capture multiple scans through the macula and then each of these images can be enlarged to provide a detailed analysis of the macula structure. In the OCT image of the normal eye below the retinal structure is smooth and looks like the layers of a cake. The scan on the right was taken at GJO on a patient who was unaware that they had early MD and instead shows bumpy retinal layers which are clearly different to the scan of the normal retina to the left.