Most macular degeneration (AMD) starts as the dry form. There is no specific treatment for this other than nutritional supplements, non smoking and protection from damaging UV rays. It does not typically cause a great deal of vision loss.
Dry macular degeneration can, however, convert to the wet form which often does cause significant vision loss. There is treatment available that can reduce the amount of vision loss from this form of AMD. One of the keys to managing AMD is getting treatment as early as possible. That is where the Macula Risk test comes in.
It identifies genetic markers that indicate the level of risk someone with early retinal changes, or dry AMD has of progressing to wet AMD. Based on the results fo this test eye examinations are scheduled at a frequency that gives the best chance of detecting progression. Patients more at risk are seen more often, while those with minimal risk don't have more examinations that necessary. The test is very simple to administer. A twenty second cheek swab is obtained and sent to a laboratory in Denver. Results are usually back in two weeks. Most insurance companies cover the cost of the test and we don't charge our patients to administer the test.