Retina Monitoring and Testing

An active senior woman on a bike

Many factors can lead to problems with the retina, some of these factors are diabetes, genetics, diet, and trauma to the eye. To diagnose a retina condition your ophthalmologist performs a series of tests that identify abnormalities within the retina.

Common tests to diagnose problems with the retina include:

Amsler Grid

May be used to test the clarity of your central vision. If the grid doesn’t appear symmetrical when viewed at the correct distance, a problem with the retina may exist. This tool may also be used at home to self monitor the condition of the retina.

Optical Coherence Tomography (OCT)

This type of diagnostic equipment provides the ophthalmologist with precise imaging of the retina. It is especially useful for finding macular holes, macular swelling, macular degeneration, and showing the overall health of the epiretinal membrane. OCT tests are also used by the ophthalmologist to monitor the effectiveness of retina treatments.

Fundus Autofluorescence (FAF)

This non-invasive imaging technique uses naturally occurring fluorescence in the retina to determine the health of the retina. Similar to pigmentation being illuminated with an ultraviolet light, FAF uses a blue light to illuminate the fluorescent pigment within the retina. It is used to monitor the progression of retina conditions like age-related macular degeneration, macular dystrophies, retinitis pigmentosa and others.

Fluorescein Angiography

This test uses a dye that reacts to blue lighting in the retinal tissue. A photograph is taken of the retina under these conditions. The ophthalmologist then identifies any abnormalities in the blood vessels of the retina.

Visual Field Test

The entire area a person can see when the eye is focused on a central object is called their visual field. This test is used to monitor changes in the central and peripheral vision. This test is used to monitor macular degeneration as well as glaucoma.

Retina conditions require consistent monitoring to ensure the health of the retina is maintained.