Despite recent advances in ophthalmic imaging, there is no single test that can be relied upon to direct treatment and clinical decision-making. A patient’s relationship with his or her Texas Retina specialist is at the core of our practice philosophy, and good patient-physician communication is critical. Important decisions about retinal health are very much a joint effort. The patient’s perception of his or her visual health and the patient’s perception of any vision changes, however slight, is every bit as important in directing care as are the clinical tests.
As a result, every patient diagnosed with macular degeneration should establish a daily routine for monitoring their own vision. This is most simply and reliably performed with an Amsler grid, a simple graph paper-like patchwork of straight vertical and horizontal lines, which we are happy to provide at no cost – simply ask one of our nurses.
Often, patients with subtle progression of macular disease will report new “waviness” or “missing areas” when monitoring their grid. Should you or a family member notice new changes on an Amsler grid, contact us promptly. One of our retina specialists or trained ophthalmic nurses is always available to consult with you by phone. As a general rule, patients who receive treatment in a more timely fashion tend to fare better than those who delay evaluation by a retina specialist.