I've just been diagnosed with age related macular degeneration (AMD), what happens next?

This depends on the type of AMD you have been diagnosed with:

  • If your optometrist suspects that you have wet AMD, then you’ll be referred quickly to an ophthalmologist at the hospital. You should expect to be seen by the eye hospital within two weeks if your optometrist believes you have developed wet AMD. Your vision will be checked by reading an eye chart and your pupils will be dilated (made bigger) by putting in eye drops. This will allow the ophthalmologist to look at your macula at the back of the eye and spot any changes that AMD may have caused.

  • If you have been told you have 'dry' AMD, you’ll normally be monitored by your optometrist. They may ask you to return for regular appointments, so they can monitor any changes to your AMD and to your sight. Your optometrist may refer you to the hospital to see an ophthalmologist if they are concerned about your dry AMD diagnosis or if your vision has worsened. Between your appointments, you may be advised to monitor your vision at home regularly by closing one eye at a time and looking at window/ door frames or tiles to see if there is any distortion or by using a paper‑based test called an Amsler grid. For further information on Amsler grids please see What is an Amsler grid?

Whatever type of AMD you have been diagnosed with, if you notice a sudden change in vision you should get in touch with your hospital as soon as possible.

For further information on AMD see Is there any treatment for age related macular degeneration (AMD)? and What is age related macular degeneration (AMD)?

You can also contact the Macular Society on 0300 3030 111.

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