Macular degeneration, otherwise known as age-related macular degeneration (AMD), is one of the leading causes of vision loss for individuals over 60. At Advanced Eyecare Specialists in Falmouth, MA, our optometrist provides ways to slow the progression of macular degeneration.
Types of Macular Degeneration
There are two types of macular degeneration, dry and wet. Dry AMD is the slow deterioration of your macula, with no early symptoms. It's more common. On the other hand, wet AMD is less common but can be more dangerous. This occurs when the blood vessels underneath the eye rupture and leak blood or fluid. Wet AMD can create significant vision loss if not handled immediately.
Symptoms of Age-Related Macular Degeneration
While every patient is different, there are certain symptoms that are generally associated with AMD. These can include any of the following:
- Blind spots in your central vision
- Blurry vision
- Difficulty recognizing familiar faces
- Straight lines have a wavelike appearance
During an exam, our eye doctor may also detect the presence of drusen, which are small yellowish deposits near the retina. That doesn't necessarily mean you have macular degeneration, but your risk of developing severe complications can be much higher.
Risk Factors for Macular Degeneration
There isn't currently a cure for macular degeneration. Certain portions of the population also have elevated risks, which includes people over the age of 50, individuals who smoke, those with a family history of the condition, or other pre-existing conditions. Some precursors to AMD can be hypertension, high cholesterol, and diabetes. If you fall into any of these categories, having a yearly eye exam is imperative.
Diagnosing and Treating Macular Degeneration
Our optometrist will examine your eyes with different tests and dilate your pupils to get a closer look at the internal structures. If you have a diagnosis of AMD, there are treatments available, which include intraocular injections, laser treatments, or assistive devices. It's important to note that these treatments are for wet AMD. If you want to reduce your risk of developing macular degeneration, eat a well-balanced diet, exercise, and avoid smoking. As you age, taking preventative measures to preserve your vision is of the utmost importance.
Visit Our Eye Doctor in Falmouth, MA for Macular Degeneration Management
Annual eye exams are vital in detecting macular degeneration early. Instead of searching for an ‘eye doctor near me’, visit us at Advanced Eyecare Specialists. Our optometrist will diagnose your condition and provide management options to help preserve your vision. Call us today to schedule an appointment