Eye care providers not always detecting AMD

A recent study found that many times, primary eye care providers are missing cases of age-related macular degeneration. After reviewing data on 1,288 eyes in patients who received a dilated eye exam and who were not diagnosed with macular degeneration, researchers had retina specialists take another look and macular degeneration was diagnosed in 25 percent of the cases.

Patients in the study were an average of 69 years of age and had been seen by one of thirty-one primary eye care providers in Birmingham, Alabama between the years of 2009 and 2011. Men who had less than a high school education were more likely to be undiagnosed.

Researchers note that there is a wide variation in the severity of macular degeneration making it difficult to detect at the earlier stages.

Dr. Paul Krawitz, President and CEO of Vitamin Science, said, “I encourage doctors to use all the tools at their disposal to help them to diagnose macular degeneration. For example, retinal photographs, with the newer instruments not even requiring pupil dilation, provide a wide and accurate view of the macula that can just as helpful, and sometimes even more so, than the doctor’s own examination using a light and examination lens.”*

 

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