Four Things You Should Know about Macular Degeneration | InVision Eye Care Specialists

Learn more about symptoms, consequences, treatments and types of macular degeneration straight from the eye experts at InVision Eye Care.

Category: Macular degeneration

Considering that age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is the leading cause of serious vision loss in seniors, it is surprising how little is understood about the disorder by the public at large. In an effort to better inform our patients so that they know what signs to look out for, the ophthalmologist, optometrists and opticians at InVision Eye Care would like to discuss a few things you should know about AMD.

1. There Are Two Types of Macular Degeneration

There are two types of macular degeneration: dry AMD and wet AMD. It is important to understand the distinction between the two because one is much more serious than the other.

Most patients with macular degeneration have dry AMD, which occurs when small yellow deposits form on the retina. The presence of these deposits, known as drusen, can cause the eye to degenerate. Around 10 percent of patients with dry AMD will go on to develop wet AMD, which can damage your vision even more by creating blind spots and permanently impairing your central vision.

2. It Can Occur in One or Both Eyes

It is not a given that having macular degeneration in one eye will mean you have it in both. That said, your odds of eventually getting macular degeneration in a second eye are higher than if you never had macular degeneration at all. Some patients even develop dry AMD in one eye and wet AMD in another. When you do have macular degeneration in just one eye, it can be harder to detect since your other eye will take steps to compensate for the vision irregularities in the other.

3. It Cannot Be Cured, But It Can Be Treated

Unfortunately, there is no known cure for macular degeneration. However, there are treatments you can undergo to slow the disease and maintain more of your vision for as long as possible.

For starters, patients are usually prescribed a diet rich in vitamins and minerals that are known to protect the health of the macula. By eating right and taking supplements, you can prevent some of the worst effects of macular degeneration.

Patients with wet AMD have found the most success with anti-VEGF (vascular endothelial growth factor) therapy, which involves injecting a drug compound into the eye to block new blood vessel development. With fewer blood vessels, your eyes are less likely to generate fluid in the retina which accelerates vision impairment.

4. There Are Key Symptoms to Watch for

The consequences of macular degeneration can best be mitigated when detected and treated early. That makes it critical for you to be conscious of changes to your vision between regular eye examinations. Speak to your doctor if you notice:

Even if these symptoms are not ultimately related to macular degeneration, they may be indicative of another eye problem that can be treated.

If at any point you need to be treated or examined for macular degeneration, please reach out to our Lakewood, NJ office (serving Ocean County and Monmouth County, New Jersey) to request an appointment.

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