If you’re experiencing any of the symptoms of AMD, please get your eyes checked by your local optician as soon as possible, as early intervention is vital when it comes to treating this condition.
Your optician will conduct a thorough sight test and eye examination to check the quality of your vision. If your optician suspects you have AMD, they will place you through a ‘rapid referral’ process to attend an AMD assessment clinic. You will receive a call or letter with an appointment within two weeks.
If your optician suspects you have AMD, you will be referred to one of SpaMedica’s specialist AMD clinics for an initial assessment. We know this can be a worrying time, so rest assured, our specialist AMD team will be on hand to give you a warm welcome, guide you through the assessment process, and answer any questions you may have.
During your assessment, we’ll use some drops to dilate your eyes. This causes blurred vision and sensitivity to light, so you’ll need to arrange for someone to take you to and from your appointment as you won’t be able to drive.
If you wear contact lenses, these should not be worn for at least 48 hours before your appointment.
Our specialist team will check your vision and eye pressure, so please bring your glasses with you if you wear them. We’ll also take some magnified colour photos of the back of your eye. Sometimes, with your consent, we’ll inject a dye into your arm. This helps to highlight the blood vessels in your eyes and a specialist eye photographer will take photos of your eyes while the dye is present.
Don’t worry – one of our nurses will be there to support you every step of the way and explain exactly what’s happening.
The photos and results of your tests will be sent to a consultant ophthalmologist to review and, from there, we can establish whether you have AMD, and which type of AMD you have.
Here’s a step-by-step guide to your initial assessment, so you know exactly what to expect:
All done – that’s the end of your assessment. The photos and results of your tests will be sent to a consultant ophthalmologist to review.
The consultant ophthalmologist will receive the results and photos from your tests and review them carefully. They will provide a diagnosis and recommend any appropriate treatment.
You will receive a letter or call to let you know what the diagnosis is and, if AMD is confirmed, you will be informed of the next steps.
If your AMD can be treated, you will be booked into an AMD Clinic to begin your treatment course. The treatment course starts with attending a clinic and receiving treatment once a month for three months. You will then have an eye check and an individual treatment schedule put together – this varies for each person.
AMD treatment - which involves injecting a drug called anti-VEGF into the affected eye to slow down the growth of abnormal blood vessels - is usually delivered over the course of several months, but your treatment plan will be tailored specifically to you.
AMD is a condition that can be managed, but unfortunately not cured, and it can be difficult to adjust to long-term changes in your vision. Fortunately, there’s lots of help available to help make your day-to-day life a little easier – from financial support, to assistive technology.
SpaMedica benefits from a team of dedicated Eye Care Liaison Officers (ECLOs), who provide practical and emotional support to people living with sight loss.
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