What is a Dark Adaptation Test?
A dark adaptation test is a tool used to help detect and monitor macular degeneration. People with macular degeneration, also known as age-related macular degeneration (AMD) often don’t know they have the disease during its early stages. They may dismiss early warning signs, like trouble seeing at night, as part of the normal aging process. Ignoring these symptoms only delays diagnosis which can lead to more vision loss.
If you are experiencing problems seeing at night, or it is becoming increasing difficult to read in dim light, you should consider scheduling a dark adaptation test at our office in Phoenix.
The test measures how long it takes your eye to adapt from bright light to darkness. This is called dark adaptation. Performed in a darkened room, the test is easy to take and non-invasive. The patient will sit with their chin on a chinrest while looking into the machine. During the test, a subtle bright light will blink, and the patient will hit a button when they see that light. The light will flash at different intensities to test the threshold of the patient’s rod function.
The number of minutes it takes your vision to adjust from bright light to darkness will be measured. This number is your RI and provides us with critical information to help determine if you have AMD. We will have your results immediately after taking the test so that we can discuss the findings and any next steps that may be required.
Measuring your RI helps us detect AMD at the earliest possible time, long before you notice any changes in your vision. If AMD is detected, there are a number of steps we can take to help protect your vision, including:
- Prescribing nutritional supplements with a combination of vitamins and minerals shown to slow progression of AMD.
- Recommend life-style changes such as losing weight and quitting smoking.
- Recommend blue-blocking and/or UV protection for your eyeglasses and sunglasses.
- Actively monitor your condition by testing your RI on a regular basis.
- Possibly refer you to a retina specialist for further evaluation.
If you are experiencing a symptom of AMD, it’s important to determine your RI with a dark adaptation test as soon as possible. Determining your RI allows us to monitor changes and take appropriate steps to protect your vision.
To learn more or to schedule an appointment, contact Associated Retina Consultants at 602-242-4928 or website today.