Macular Degeneration (cont.)
When to Seek Medical Care
For age-related macular degeneration, you should see an ophthalmologist (a medical doctor who specializes in eye care and surgery). Your optometrist can also screen for and diagnose this disease.
- In general, people older than 45 years should have a complete eye examination and then follow-up examinations every two years.
- People with age-related macular degeneration should check their vision daily or weekly with an Amsler grid and promptly notify their ophthalmologist of any changes in their vision.
It should be very rare that a person must go to a hospital for macular-degeneration problems. Because of the specialized nature of eye-examination equipment as well as the lasers and medications used for treatment, macular degeneration is handled and treated best in the ophthalmologist's office.
- If you notice a sudden decrease in vision in one or both of your eyes and you cannot reach your ophthalmologist or optometrist, go to or call the hospital's emergency department in order to contact the on-call eye doctor. Timely treatment of early wet age-related macular degeneration can prevent further vision loss.
- Visual symptoms, blurring, or eye pain may be symptoms of eye conditions other than age-related macular degeneration. You may need prompt diagnosis and treatment of these other conditions.
John D. Sheppard, MD, MMSc
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