Keeping your eyes healthy makes a big difference to your quality of life. This is why Dr. Rupnow at Family Vision Clinic encourages our patients to see an eye doctor on a regular basis. Routine eye exams help you maintain healthy vision habits and allow your eye doctor to detect eye conditions earlier, which could improve your outcome. Macular degeneration is a common eye health condition that can be diagnosed even before symptoms develop. Let’s look at a few of the questions that we run into regarding macular degeneration.
What is Macular Degeneration?
Macular degeneration, also called age-related macular degeneration (AMD), is a leading cause of vision loss. It happens when the macula, which is found in the center of the retina in the back of the eye, deteriorates over time. Doctors recognize two main types of macular degeneration: wet AMD and dry AMD.
What is the Difference Between Dry AMD and Wet AMD?
Dry AMD is more common than wet AMD and is associated with progressive, gradual loss of central vision. People with AMD might have a build-up of yellow deposits called drusen near their retinas, but these aren't thought to cause AMD. In the advanced stages, dry AMD can turn into wet AMD, which happens when abnormal blood vessels grow behind the retina, leak fluid, and damage macular tissue.
What Are Macular Degeneration Symptoms?
Macular degeneration can develop for years before a person notices any symptoms, but once the symptoms appear they may include:
- Reduced central vision in one or both eyes (while side vision remains intact)
- Difficulty reading, seeing faces, and seeing fine details
- Visual distortions, like straight lines looking wavy
- Difficulty with night vision or seeing in dim environments
What Causes Macular Degeneration?
We do not know for sure what causes macular degeneration and why some people get it. Getting older, having a family history of AMD, being white/Caucasian, smoking, and having certain other medical conditions like cardiovascular disease, obesity, and diabetes can increase your AMD risk.
How Can an Optometrist Help People with Macular Degeneration?
AMD isn't curable, but our team can help slow your vision loss and maximize your eyesight. We do this by:
- Prescribing corrective eyewear and low vision adaptive equipment
- Teaching low vision strategies and techniques
- Offering lifestyle and nutritional counseling
- Supporting patients as they go through wet AMD treatments like laser surgery, injections in the eye, and light therapy
Get Macular Degeneration Treatment in Farmington, MN
You can find compassionate eye care you need from an optometrist you can trust. If you have concerns about macular degeneration or it has been a while since your last eye exam, call our team at Family Vision Clinic today at (651) 463-2020 or reach us through our website by using our online contact form to schedule an appointment with Dr. Rupnow.