Macular degeneration is an eye disease that progresses over time and can lead to vision loss. In people over the age of 60, this eye disease is the leading cause of permanent, severe vision loss. It occurs when a small portion of your retina begins to wear down. It is commonly known as age-related macular degeneration, since it happens as you get older. If you think you may be suffering from macular degeneration, we can help. At Advanced Family Eye Care PC, our optometrist provides ways to manage macular degeneration and slow down vision loss. We serve St. Joseph, South Haven, Benton Harbor, and Stevensville, MI.
Causes and Symptoms
Older people over the age of 60 are more prone to developing age-related macular degeneration. It is the leading cause of vision loss in this age group. It may also be genetic. You are at a higher risk of developing this condition if a family member already has it. Other risk factors include hypertension, high cholesterol, smoking, obesity, eating too much-saturated fat, and having a lighter eye color.
- You may have blurry vision, and it may be difficult for you to drive or read fine print.
- Blurry or dark areas in the center of your vision
- A different or worse perception of color
Diagnosing and Treating Macular Degeneration
Macular degeneration can be easily detected through a routine eye exam. Drusen, which are tiny yellow spots under your retina, is a common early warning sign. This is visible through an eye exam. Our eye doctor may also have you look at an Amsler grid, which is straight lines, resembling a checkerboard. If you have macular degeneration, some lines may appear as if they are missing or wavy.
Unfortunately, there is no cure for macular degeneration. Treatment that you may be given is beneficial for slowing down the progression of the disease and keeping you from losing too much of your eyesight. You may be given several options, including:
- Anti-angiogenesis drugs: These medications help block blood vessels from being created and leaking into your eye. Many people have retained some vision loss after taking these drugs.
- Laser therapy: Abnormal blood vessels that are growing in your eye can be destroyed via high-energy laser light.
- Photodynamic laser therapy: A drug is injected into your bloodstream and gets absorbed by the blood vessels in your eye that are abnormal. A laser is used to activate the drug, which kills the abnormal blood vessels.
Schedule an Appointment with Our Optometry Team for Macular Degeneration Testing
It is important to get tested for this condition so it can be caught early. At Advanced Family Eye Care PC, serving Stevensville, Benton Harbor, South Haven, and St. Joseph, MI, our optometrist will help you manage the condition. Call us today to schedule an appointment.