Age-related macular degeneration (AMD
) is one of the leading causes of blindness worldwide in the elderly population. Optometrists, as primary eye health care providers, require the skills and knowledge to accurately diagnose and manage AMD
patients. There is an overwhelming body of research related to the clinical presentation, etiology, epidemiology, and pathology of this disease. Additionally, the evolution of new imaging
modalities creates new opportunities to clinically detect and analyze previously uncharacterized and earlier changes in the retina. The challenge for optometrists is to combine all this information into an applicable knowledge base for use in everyday clinical assessment of AMD
so that timely and accurate referrals can be made to retinal specialists. This review attempts to address this issue by linking the clinical presentation of AMD
with the underlying disease biology. We emphasize the contribution of recent noninvasive imaging
technologies to the clinical assessment of early and more advanced AMD
including optical coherence tomography, fundus autofluorescence, and infrared reflectance.