Grading Age-Related Macular Degeneration

ARMD Overview

Age-Related Macular Degeneration (ARMD) is a leading cause of vision loss in older adults, and effective grading of this condition is crucial for determining appropriate management strategies. ARMD grading is based on the extent and nature of macular changes observed during fundoscopic examination. The grading scale typically categorizes ARMD into early, intermediate, and late stages. Early ARMD is characterized by the presence of medium-sized drusen and minimal pigmentary abnormalities. Intermediate ARMD includes larger drusen and more noticeable pigmentary changes without central geographic atrophy. Late ARMD, the most severe form, is distinguished by the presence of either neovascular ARMD or geographic atrophy involving the central macula. Precise grading of ARMD assists optometrists in monitoring disease progression, advising on preventive measures, and if necessary, initiating advanced therapeutic interventions such as anti-VEGF therapy.

ARMD Grades

1Few small (<63µm)
2Many small or 1 intermediate (63-124µm)
3Many intermediate or 1 large (≥125µm)
4Geographic or neovascular atrophy