Posted on: Mar 29 2013
It seems inevitable that as we get older, our vision won’t be as sharp as it used to be. What if this is vision loss is more severe, however? It may be age-related macular degeneration, a breakdown of the eye’s macula that affects about 1 in every 2,000 people in the United States. So what exactly does this condition entail?
Macular degeneration occurs when the macula, the small, sensitive, central area of the retina responsible for detailed vision, breaks down. This causes a loss in vision, which, depending on the type, can be gradual or sudden. Despite the growing prevalence of macular degeneration, many patients still aren’t sure what this condition is all about. Read on to find out the answers to some commonly-asked questions!
Top 5 Frequently Asked Questions about Macular Degeneration
What are the symptoms? If you’re suffering from macular degeneration, you may experience straight lines appearing wavy, fuzzy or blurred vision, and certain areas of shadowy vision. If any of these symptoms appear, it’s important to schedule an appointment with your ophthalmologist, as early detection is the key to preventing further vision loss.
Is it preventable? There is currently no way to completely prevent macular degeneration, but there are steps you can take that can potentially reduce your risk. Some researchers believe antioxidants can help, as well as exercise and avoiding smoking, as both can affect your macula.
Are there different types? There are two types of macular degeneration, wet and dry. The most common type seen is the dry form, affecting about 90% of all people with this condition. Dry macular degeneration involves the buildup of yellowish deposits beneath the retina, while the wet form involves the growth of blood cells beneath the retina. These blood cells leak, causing cells in the retina to die and leading to blind spots in our central vision.
Am I at risk? The main cause of macular degeneration is natural deterioration due to aging, mostly affecting those over the age of 65. It can also be genetic, and people who are obese, smokers, have high blood pressure, and have prolonged exposure to the sun are at a higher risk.
What are my treatment options? While there is currently no cure for macular degeneration, there are a number of different treatment options designed to stop or slow down the process. Eye injections like Avastin and Lucentis can aid in stopping wet degeneration, and some believe in the efficacy of vitamin and mineral supplements. It’s important to consult with your doctor, as they will be able to discuss and choose the treatment options that are best for you.
Macular Degeneration Treatment in Winchester
To learn more about macular degeneration or how to manage it, contact us today to schedule a consultation. Our offices are located in Winchester, serving Virginia, West Virginia and Maryland, and you can reach us directly at (540) 722-6200. We look forward to meeting you.
Posted in: Macular Degeneration