Macular degeneration is a medical condition that affects the center of the retina (macula) in the eye, which determines vision sharpness. Symptoms range from blurred or distorted vision, difficulty seeing in low light, and having a dark area in the center of your vision.
There are two main types of macular degeneration: wet and dry. Dry macular degeneration is the most common form and occurs when the light-sensitive cells in the macula start breaking down. Wet macular degeneration is less common but more severe and happens when blood vessels grow under the retina, causing blood leakage.
Early detection of macular degeneration can help minimize the vision damage this condition could cause. Although there is no cure, your doctor may prescribe a drug treatment or photodynamic therapy to slow its progression.
Symptoms of Macular Degeneration
Early stages of macular degeneration often don’t show symptoms. Once they do, they may include the following:
Poor vision in low light
Seeing straight lines as curving or wavy
Blank or dark spots
Causes and Risk Factors of Macular Degeneration
Although research does not show what exactly causes macular degeneration, it can be an inherited eye disease. Here are some factors that could increase your risk for it.
Head injuries and trauma
Age-Related Macular Degeneration
A damaged macula prevents your brain from understanding and reading the images that your eyes see. At times, this damage is caused by gradual deterioration due to aging. In its early stages, central vision may appear blurry. If left untreated, it could lead to further complications like progressive vision loss.
Macular Degeneration Diagnosis
Our specialists might ask about your medical or family history of eye diseases during your eye exam. Knowing about your lifestyle and family can help determine if you have macular degeneration.
Your ophthalmologist may perform multiple painless and quick tests, including:
Amsler grid test: This test is used to monitor the central visual field that may become distorted due to macula or optic nerve disorders.
Optical coherence tomography (OCT): This test is used to generate an image from the back of the eye (your retina and optic nerve) and determine if anything is blocking the amount of light being received.
Fluorescein angiography: This test helps take pictures of your retina. These will help your doctor get a better look at the blood vessels and identify any abnormalities in the back of the eye.
Treatment for Macular Degeneration
Macular degeneration is a lifelong condition. However, some treatments can slow down and prevent its progression:
Medication is injected directly into the eye to stop the growth of abnormal blood vessels.
Through laser, the abnormal blood vessels in the retina are destroyed.
A light-sensitive medication is injected and then activated with a laser to destroy the abnormal blood vessels in the retina.
Vitamins and Supplements
Zinc, vitamin C, vitamin E, and beta-carotene may slow down the progression of macular degeneration.
Macular Degeneration Treatment in New York
EyesNY offers treatment to help patients dealing with macular degeneration. Our specialized team of ophthalmologists is ready to assess your needs and give you the high-quality vision care you deserve.
We work with cutting-edge technology to identify the root cause of your condition and create personalized treatment plans. Our caring staff is ready to welcome you and meet your ocular health and vision needs. We offer comprehensive eye care services, including treatment for macular degeneration and other diseases that affect the retina.
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