Dark Adapt Test and Early Macular Degeneration Importance

I have done numerous blog posts about macular degeneration and the importance of eye vitamins. The eye vitamins I recommend can be found here and by following this link you will get 10% off your order. After all 1 in 8 Americans over 60 have macular degeneration. Today, I want to talk more about why early detection is so important and how a dark adapt test is critical. A dark adaptation test is used to help detect and monitor macular degeneration. Most people with early macular degeneration are unaware they have the disease. They may dismiss an early warning sign or poor night vision. They may blame age or cataracts for the decrease in night vision because those things can cause poor night vision. Ignoring these symptoms only delays diagnosis which can lead to more vision loss and like I tell my patients possible needles in the eyes.

Poor Night Vision?

Therefore, if you are experiencing problems seeing at night, or it is becoming increasing difficult to read in dim light, you should consider scheduling a dark adaptation test at our office in Collinsville. It is a fairly simple test to run and does not require any eye drops. The best part is that most medical insurances will pay for it if you are having poor night vision!

Dark Adapt Test

While the dark adapt test while pretty self explanatory, looks at how long it takes your eyes to adapt to the dark. Dark adaptation is what this is called. Performed by wearing a virtual reality headset the test is not painful. Now, Maculogix makes a device that we use to test dark adaptation. Essentially you wear the virtual reality headset and a nice voice will walk you through what to do. The screener takes about 10 minutes and the full threshold takes around 25 minutes. The screener will tell if you pass or fail. Whereas the full threshold gives an exact number for the rod intercept.

Rod Intercept

So, the number of minutes it takes your vision to adjust from bright light to darkness will be measured. This number is your RI and provides us with critical information to help determine if you have macular degeneration. The results are instantly provided at the end of the dark adapt test.

Measuring your RI helps eye doctors detect macular degeneration at the earliest possible time, long before you notice any changes in your vision. If we detect macular degeneration there are a number of steps we can take to help protect your vision, including:

  • Prescribing nutritional supplements with a combination of vitamins and minerals shown to slow progression of AMD.
  • Recommend life-style changes such as losing weight and quitting smoking.
  • Recommend blue-blocking and/or UV protection for your eyeglasses and sunglasses.
  • Actively monitor your condition by testing your RI on a regular basis.
  • Possibly refer you to a retina specialist for further evaluation.

For more information on the value of eye vitamins for macular degeneration click the link.

If you are experiencing any of the symptoms of macular degeneration, it is important to perform a dark adapt test.

Posted in

Dr. Thirion

Leave a Comment