Macular degeneration is a serious eye condition of the eye that causes issues with your central vision. If left untreated, macular degeneration can lead to central vision loss. While there is no cure for this condition, the professionals at Wight Eye Care in Loves Park, IL, can create a treatment plan to slow the progression of the disease.
What Are the Two Types of Macular Degeneration?
Dry macular degeneration is the most common form of macular degeneration and occurs when your macula, which is responsible for clear vision in your line of sight, starts to thin. Wet macular degeneration is a chronic disorder that occurs when abnormal blood vessels form and leak into the macula. The symptoms and risk factors are the same with both types.
Who Is at Risk For Macular Degeneration?
Although anyone can develop macular degeneration, certain factors can increase your risk of developing this disease.
- Your age: As you get older, your risk of developing this condition increases. Both types of macular degeneration are most common in people in their late '50s and '60s.
- You are a smoker: Studies have shown that exposure to cigarette smoke can increase your risk.
- You have cardiovascular disease: If you have a condition that affects your blood vessels or heart, your risk increases.
- Obesity: Studies have shown that obesity can cause macular degeneration to progress more rapidly.
What Are the Symptoms of Macular Degeneration?
The symptoms of macular degeneration develop very gradually, which is why it is so important to see your optometrist every year. The symptoms include:
- Seeing straight lines as bent lines
- Needing brighter lights when reading or doing closeup work
- Blurriness of printed words
- Colors won't appear as bright as they once did.
- Reduced central vision in one or both eyes
- Trouble recognizing faces
- A blurry or blind spot in your central vision
How Is Macular Degeneration Diagnosed?
A: Macular degeneration can be detected during your annual eye exam. Your eye doctor will examine the back of your eye. If they find the presence of yellow deposits called druse. If these deposits are present, further tests will be necessary.
- Amsler grid test: This is a grid made up of straight lines. Seeing lines that are broken or bent often signifies macular degeneration.
- Fluorescein angiography: This test can diagnose wet macular degeneration. Your doctor will inject colored dye into your arm. When the dry travels to the blood vessels in your eyes, your optometrist will take photos that will show if abnormal blood vessels have formed or retinal changes have occurred.
- Optical coherence tomography: This is an imaging test designed to identify changes in the retina, such as swelling, thickening, or thinning.
How Is Macular Degeneration Treated?
Wet macular degeneration can be treated with medication that is injected into your eyes. The medication is designed to prevent the growth of abnormal blood vessels. In more severe cases, laser treatment can help.
There is no cure for macular degeneration; however, your eye doctor can prescribe a vitamin supplement designed to slow the progression of the disease. In addition, lifestyle changes such as quitting smoking, quitting drinking and eating healthy can reduce the progression of both forms of the disease.
Schedule an Appointment with Our Optometrist in Loves Park, IL for Macular Degeneration Treatment
Annual visits to Wight Eye Care in Loves Park, IL are essential for detecting and treating macular degeneration quickly. Call us today at (815) 708-7083 for more information or to schedule an appointment with our eye doctor.