AdaptDx® Dark Adaptometer

The AdaptDx aids in the detection and management of age-related macular degeneration (AMD). The AdaptDx test quickly measures the eye’s ability to adjust from bright light to darkness. This is called dark adaptation. When you turn off the light in a room and wait for your eyes to adjust, you are experiencing dark adaptation. Clinical studies have shown that impaired or slow dark adaptation can indicate the subclinical AMD at least three years before drusen or spots on the retina are visible.

The AdaptDx Rapid Test is very easy to take – you just look into the device and push a button each time you see a light. We will have your results immediately so that we can discuss the findings and any next steps that may be required. The AdaptDx is made in the USA by MacuLogix® and is cleared for use by the FDA.

Stages of Age-Relate Macular Degeneration

  • Subclinical AMD is the earliest detectable stage of age-related macular degeneration. It is found by testing the time it takes your eyes to adjust from bright light to darkness. This is called your dark adaptation function and it can be measured with the AdaptDx® dark adaptometer.
  • Early to Intermediate AMD is diagnosed based on the appearance of small yellow-white spots call drusen, which appear in the back of the eye. The size of the spots along with changes in retina pigment and dark adaptation function can help the doctor determine the severity of the disease.
  • Advanced AMD:
    • Choroidal Neovascularization (CNV) or “Wet AMD” occurs in about 10-15% of patients as a result of abnormal blood vessels forming under the central retina. Vision distortion and/or vision loss begins when these blood vessels leak into the retina. Vision loss caused by Wet AMD typically occurs quite rapidly. However, if the wet form is caught early enough, treatment by a retinal specialist can stabilize vision.
    • Geographic Atrophy (GA) or “Advanced Dry AMD” is an advanced form of AMD, during which cells within a region of the retina waste away and die (atrophy). These regions of cell atrophy result in a blind spot in the visual field that cannot be reversed.

AMD Symptoms and Risk Factors

As a progressive disease, AMD is hardly noticed by most patients in the earliest stages. However, one of the earliest symptoms of AMD is impaired dark adaptation, known as night vision and often presenting as complaints of trouble driving or seeing at night. As the disease progresses, symptoms may include distortion of straight lines or dark and blurry central vision.

There are several risk factors for AMD, including:

  • Age 50 or older
  • Family history of AMD
  • Caucasian (white)
  • Smoker or past smoker
  • Being overweight
  • Heart disease, high blood pressure or high cholesterol

If you are experiencing a symptom of AMD or have multiple risk factors, you should be tested with the AdaptDx®.

AMD Facts

  • It is projected that the overall prevalence of the AMD will be 196 million in 2020 and 288 million in 20401.
  • As many as 11 million people in the U.S. have some form of AMD; this number is expected to double by 20501.
  • Up to 78% of AMD patients have substantial, irreversible vision loss at first treatment, including 37% who are legally blind in at least one eye2,3.
  • Currently, there is no cure for AMD but progression of the disease can be slowed or halted with lifestyle modifications, protective eyewear, and nutritional supplements. Timely diagnosis is therefore key.
  • Wet AMD (choroidal neovascularization) may be treated with injections, which can slow or halt disease progression and vision loss, but not reverse it.

What happens if AMD is detected?

If AMD is detected, we can take several steps to help protect your vision:

  • Prescribe nutritional supplements with a combination of vitamins and minerals shown to slow progression of AMD4.
  • 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 dark adaptation on a regular basis.
  • Possibly refer you to a retina specialist for further evaluation.

Is the AdaptDx® test covered by insurance?

If there is a medical diagnosis related to AMD or you are experiencing trouble seeing or driving at night, we may be able to bill the test to your insurance provider. If not, the AdaptDx test may require a modest out-of-pocket expense.