Age-related macular degeneration is a serious disease common in people over 50. There is treatment, but no cure, making prevention and management vital in saving your sight. Do not wait until you see the signs, talk to your optometrist at your regular exam. An optometrist can detect the warning signs of AMD before it begins to compromise your central vision.
AMD is a disease that affects the macula, a small portion of the retina. Areas of your central vision will begin to look hazy, blurry, dim, or even low in color saturation. As the condition progresses, these “blind spots” will get larger and more abundant. Left untreated, age-related macular degeneration can lead to blindness.
Dry AMD: The more common type of age-related macular degeneration, making up 90% of all cases. Drusen, a white protein, builds up beneath the retina, obscuring your vision.
Wet AMD: The other 10% of cases are this much more severe variation of AMD. Weak blood vessels form underneath the retina, where they leak blood and fluid into the eye.
No one is immune from AMD, but there are factors that can put you at a higher risk. Smoking has shown to create a higher-than-average risk, while genetics puts Caucasian and Asian individuals at a higher risk of developing the disease.
At your regular eye exam, we will perform a test of your vision, including your central vision. We will also take a close look at the health of your retina.
We use ocular coherence tomography (OCT) and retinal imaging to examine your eye. This allows us to see your retina with amazing clarity and detail. We can detect drusen, abnormal blood vessels, or even any unwanted fluids that make up the warning signs for AMD.
There is no cure for AMD, but lifestyle changes and management techniques can limit the progression of this disease. In the case of wet AMD, laser surgery, or injections may be able to make an impact on the abnormal blood vessels by sealing any leaks. Talk to your optometrist if you have more questions about age-related macular degeneration treatment.
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