Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) accounts for half of the legal blindness cases in Australia, and scientists from Australia's Vision Centre have found that the condition can be effectively diagnosed under bright lights.
The new study says that a "quick, accurate" test under bright lights can diagnose AMD more rapidly and inexpensively than having patients sit in a darkened room for 20 minutes.
Professor Ted Maddess from The Vision Centre and The Australian National University says that AMD affects one in seven people over the age of 50, costing the nation $2.6 billion a year.
Professor Maddess says that current tests for AMD are done in the light, but scientists have proposed that it might be better if patients have their vision adapted to the dark before the test.
The research team found "little to no difference" in the results, with Professor Maddess adding that AMD could be diagnosed regardless of how much light the eyes were exposed to during the test.
"Our research indicates that it’s not necessary for people to be dark-adapted, which eliminates any long waiting periods and the need for dark rooms. So it is an easier test than was previously thought," said Professor Maddess.
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