Screening for Macular Degeneration
by Amy Scholten, MPH
The purpose of screening is early diagnosis and treatment. Screening tests are administered to people without current symptoms, but who may be at high risk for certain diseases or conditions.
Snellen acuity testing —Visual acuity is measured with a Snellen chart, which displays letters, numbers, or objects of progressively smaller size. Normal vision is 20/20. Vision that is 20/40 allows you to pass a driver’s license test in all 50 states. If your vision is 20/80, you will be able to read an alarm clock that is 10 feet away. If your vision is 20/200, you are considered legally blind. Legally blind does not mean that you cannot see anything. It only implies that your vision is limited.
The American Academy of Ophthalmology recommends the following:
Based on the results of the exam, your doctor will recommend a treatment plan and/or a schedule for follow-up visits.
You may need more frequent visits if you:
The eye exam also tests for other eye disorders, such as cataracts and glaucoma.
Age-related macular degeneration (AMD). EBSCO DynaMed Plus website. Available at:
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Accessed November 29, 2016.
Get screened at 40. American Academy of Ophthalmology website. Available at: https://www.aao.org/eye-health/tips-prevention/screening. Accessed November 29, 2016.
Vision screening recommendations for adults over 60. American Academy of Ophthalmology website. Available at: https://www.aao.org/eye-health/tips-prevention/seniors-screening. Accessed November 29, 2016.
Vision screening recommendations for adults under 40. American Academy of Ophthalmology website. Available at: https://www.aao.org/eye-health/tips-prevention/young-adults-screening. Accessed November 29, 2016.
Vision screening recommendations for adults 40 to 60. American Academy of Ophthalmology website. Available at: https://www.aao.org/eye-health/tips-prevention/midlife-adults-screening. Accessed November 29, 2016.
Last reviewed February 2021 by EBSCO Medical Review Board
Last Updated: 4/6/2021
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