Macular degeneration is the leading cause of vision loss in America. This condition commonly develops among people who are 50 and older. However, it isn’t well understood. Here is what you need to know about macular degeneration from the eye doctors at Meridian Ophthalmic Associates in Meridian, MS, and why you should get help sooner rather than later.
What is Macular Degeneration?
Macular degeneration is an eye disease that affects the center of your retina. The light-sensitive nerve tissue of the retina begins to break down, meaning that it is less able to detect light. As this condition progresses, the center of your vision dims or distorts. In extreme cases, there may be scarring in the eyes leading to a permanent loss of central vision.
The most common form of this disease is age-related macular degeneration (AMD), which can lead to severe and permanent vision loss among people over 60. However, it doesn’t just strike seniors. There’s a second form, called juvenile macular degeneration or Stargardt disease, that can affect children, teens, and young adults.
What are the Symptoms?
Symptoms of this eye disease may be quite subtle at first and worsen slowly. Early signs of AMD are a general worsening of your vision. It may be harder to read small print or see in dim conditions. Darker or blurred areas may appear at the center of your vision. Colors may also seem different. If you notice any of these issues, talk to an eye doctor about your concerns.
How is it Diagnosed?
Your eye doctor will take your medical history and discuss what you’ve been experiencing and for how long. He or she may administer tests such as asking you to look at certain pictures and describe what you see. We will also give you a vision test and examine your retina for signs of the disease.
How is it Treated?
Unfortunately, there is no cure for macular degeneration at this time. However, there are several options to slow the disease and reduce your loss of vision. These options can include:
- laser therapy to address abnormal blood vessels in the eye
- medications to slow the growth of blood vessels and stop leaking
- vitamin supplements that support healthy eye functions
- special lenses or electronics to make it easier to see
- lifestyle changes including quitting smoking and wearing UV-blocking sunglasses
Schedule a Check-up with Our Fort Worth Optometrist
Our goal at Meridian Ophthalmic Associates is to provide the highest quality of care to everyone who visits us. If you’ve been suffering from vision difficulties, early detection and diagnosis can lead to the best outcomes. Call us today at (601) 483-2616 to schedule an exam.