Your eye doctor can check for retinal conditions like macular degeneration and diabetic eye changes (retinopathy) by doing a thorough eye exam, which includes dilation and examination using special magnifying instruments. We can also take photographs and perform optical coherence tomography, and fluorescein angiography to help diagnose retinal disease.
The following tests may be done to determine the location and extent of the disease:
Amsler grid test. Your doctor may use an Amsler grid to test the clarity of your central vision. If you have macular degeneration, he or she might also ask you to use this test to self-monitor your condition at home.
Optical coherence tomography (OCT). This test is an excellent technique for capturing precise images of the retina to diagnose epiretinal membranes, macular holes and macular swelling (edema), to monitor the extent of age-related wet macular degeneration, and to monitor responses to treatment.
Fundus autofluorescence (FAF). FAF may be used to determine the advancement of retinal diseases, including macular degeneration.
Fluorescein angiography. This test uses a dye that causes blood vessels in the retina to stand out under a special light.
Indocyanine green angiography. This test uses a dye that lights up when exposed to infrared light. The resulting images show retinal blood vessels and the deeper, harder-to-see blood vessels behind the retina in a tissue called the choroid.
Ultrasound. This test uses high-frequency sound waves (ultrasonography) to help view the retina and other structures in the eye. It can also identify certain tissue characteristics that can help in the diagnosis and treatment of eye tumors.
CT and MRI. In rare instances, these imaging methods can be used to help evaluate eye injuries or tumors.