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Patients with exudative AMD have a more rapid onset of symptoms than those with the dry form. They notice central visual loss often accompanied by distortion developing over the course of a few days or weeks. Distortion may be the earliest sign. Patients may not notice early symptoms when only one eye is affected and it is not unusual for them to present at a late stage with their first eye.
Central visual acuity is usually reduced but may not be a reliable indicator of disease severity.
Often central visual distortion and/or scotoma is more indicative so testing for these with an Amsler Chart is recommended.
Examination of the macula, preferably with a binocular viewing technique looking for soft drusen, haemorrhage, exudate or sub-retinal fluid.
Referral to the Wet AMD Rapid Access Clinic (GHFT) is indicated when vision in the affected eye is > 6/96 and the patient reports a < 3month history of:
Please follow this link to the referral form.
If there is some uncertainty, local optometrists are usually happy to advise and to make the appropriate referral using the fast track wet AMD referral form.
If Wet AMD is not suspected following initial assessment / investigations consider routine referral to Ophthalmology.
Those diagnosed with wet AMD will receive information about their condition. Low visual aid assessment and referral to social services (with or without registration) will be offered where appropriate.
However there is a primary care role in providing advice, support and information.