Macular Society
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Possible misdiagnosis?

I am a 57 year old female. One year ago during a routine eye exam using the OCT machine and a Fundus Photo, my Opthamologist diagnosed me with Early Stage Macular Degeneration. A few weeks later I went to my Optomitrist who also did testing using the OCT machine and a Fundus Photo and said there was no evidence of Macular Degeneration.

I'm very aware of the differences between an Opthamologist and Optomitrist but I'm confused as heck because how can there be two different diagnosis when both doctors used the same machines? I don't smoke and the Optomitrist corrected my vision to 20/20 with new eye glasses.

Has anyone ever heard of this happening?

5 Replies

Are you In the UK, I had some vision problem between annual visits and asked my optician if I could have a mid term examination, he said yesterday but if there was nothing found I would have to pay for it which was fine by me..they did find Macular pucker ( I had already had both eyes done for cataracts) and so I did not have pay and had super treatment on referral to Moorefields eye hospital.

hOpe this helps..but sometimes medical,opinion varies, maybe it depends on the experience of the person concerned.



Hi Leslie,

It sounds confusing and the first recommendation I would make is to ring the Helpline of the Macular Society which will be open tomorrow - 0300 3030111. You can talk over the problem with someone and discuss possible causes and solutions.

In the meantime, I'll put down my thoughts as a wet AMD patient of 12 years and as a volunteer for the Society. It may be that the machines that the Ophthalmologist and Optometrist used are slightly different and one may show more detail. Also, the Ophthalmologist may be more experienced in observing differences in the condition.

I presume your optometrist is your 'high street optician'. Recently, most of them have acquired and advertise the use of retinal photography but not all are as highly trained or as experienced to the level that you would expect your senior hospital clinic staff to be. Nevertheless, many now seem to do a reasonable and improving job especially in referring patients with wet AMD as quickly as possible to a retinal clinic for necessary rapid treatment. It sound as though your condition is dry AMD which is not currently treated in the same way.

Hope this helps,

Best Wishes,


1 like

Hi lesliep,

My optician gave me an emergency referral to eye clinic as he saw what he thought might be evidence of wet md in both eyes.

Clinic did Oct, said oedema left eye, but no prob in right, not wetmd as other signs not present. I asked what optician had seen in R eye, was told they just err on side of caution (opposite to your experience I guess although have seen on here opticians often don't mention early drymd).

I then had fluoroscein dye test which showed L eye macular vein occlusion (brvo).

So, yes, different diagnoses possible. I would go with the ophthalmologist view.

Sounds like he thinks you have dry md as no treatment given but worth you checking and getting something in writing .

Also, important to check regularly using amsler grid in case anything changes.

Best wishes x


Hi Leslie,

Gill Moseley's reply is spot on.

If you would like a chat, please call the Macular Society helpline, 0300 30 30 111 (9.00am to 5.00pm Monday to Friday)

Best wishes


Macular Society


I also agree with Gill Moseleys' advice, an ophthalmologist has done further training so will have spotted something like drusen or retinal changes, Good luck


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