Macular Degeneration Treatment
Macular degeneration is one of the most common diseases that can affect vision as we age. It is an incurable eye disease, affecting over 10 million people in the over 50 age group. The doctors at University Eye Associates can evaluate and monitor macular degeneration, determining the best treatment options to slow progression. Please reach out to us to schedule an appointment with our experienced optometry team so that we can provide the best care for your macular degeneration.
Commonly referred to as AMD (age-related Macular Degeneration), this disease occurs at the back of the eye, the macula, a small portion of the retina responsible for focusing your central vision. For a small component, it plays a large role by controlling our ability to read, drive a car, recognize faces or colors, and see objects in fine detail.
Symptoms of AMD include:
- The gradual loss of ability to see objects clearly
- The shape of objects appears distorted
- Straight lines look wavy or crooked
- Decreased brightness of colors
- A dark or empty area in the center of vision
Types of Macular Degeneration
There are two types of AMD, commonly referred to as wet and dry. The dry form is most common, accounting for approximately 90% of cases.
- Dry or atrophic macular degeneration is caused by the layers of the macula thinning and flaking off. This is age-related and is present in most people over 50 years old to some degree. Small piles of eye waste products called drusen appear on the retina and cause discoloration.
- Wet or exudative macular degeneration is a progression from dry AMD and is when new blood vessels grow behind the retina. These vessels are weak and therefore leak fluids into the retina and macula, causing scar tissue to form and preventing the retinal cells from functioning correctly. A patient with this disease will see a dark spot in the center of their vision, expanding until the patient is legally blind.
Causes of Macular Degeneration
The exact cause of AMD is unknown, however, there are several possible risk factors researchers have associated with the disease such as having excess weight and high blood pressure, smoking, and having a family history of the condition. There is no cure at this stage, but several changes can be implemented to slow the progression such as diet, exercise and avoiding ultraviolet light. Laser therapy and anti-VEGF therapy are possible techniques to manage wet AMD.
How can University Eye Associates Help?
Early diagnosis of AMD is the key to creating a successful management strategy and treatment plan. Contact one of our offices to book an appointment with an eye doctor today, and we will provide a comprehensive eye examination.