#1 Macular Degeneration Treatment in Newark, DE
Age-Related Macular Degeneration (AMD) is a chronic eye disease that may affect one or both eyes and causes central vision loss. It is the leading cause of blindness after age 50. While side vision remains clear, the central, sharp vision is affected by either dry or wet macular degeneration. For the diagnosis and treatment of AMD, schedule an appointment with your doctor at Eye Care of Delaware.
Macular Degeneration Symptoms
Dry Macular Degeneration, the most common type, occurs when cells under the macula break down and create deposits called drusen which can blur your vision. Dry AMD usually develops slowly over time; so, in the early stages, changes in vision may be hard to notice. Over time, your central vision slowly worsens.
Symptoms of Dry AMD may include:
- Bright light needed when doing close work
- Print appearing more and more blurry
- Colors appearing less bright
- Trouble distinguishing between dark colors
- Hazy vision
- A blind spot in the center of your vision
- Shadows or missing areas of vision
Wet macular degeneration is less common, but more serious because vision loss is quick and severe. Wet AMD occurs when certain proteins called VEGF-A cause abnormal blood vessel growth in the back of the eye. As the blood vessels grow, they can leak blood and fluid which damage the macula. Although only 10% of people with dry AMD will get wet AMD, it is a major cause of central vision loss in adults. If wet AMD is caught early, treatment may help slow further vision loss.
Symptoms of Wet AMD may include:
Visual distortions such as:
- Straight lines or faces appearing wavy
- Doorways seeming crooked
- Objects appearing smaller or far away
Wet Macular Degeneration
Wet macular degeneration is a chronic eye disorder that leads to blurry vision or noticeable blind spots. It is typically caused by abnormal blood vessels in the eye that leak fluid or blood in the macula, which is responsible for central vision.
Dry Macular Degeneration
Then, there is dry macular degeneration — a common eye disorder affecting people over the age of 50. In dry macular degeneration, blurry or reduced central vision is common due to the thinning of the macula.
Macular Degeneration Treatment
Treatment for either type of macular degeneration typically involved periodic intravitreal injection into the eye. A chemical known as anti-VEGF is used to treat macular degeneration caused by aging, which can help slow the disease and prevent severe vision loss.
Macular Degeneration Causes
Most commonly, macular degeneration is caused by:
- Family history and genetics
- Cardiovascular disease
Macular Degeneration Test
To properly test for macular degeneration, we use the Amsler Grid — a tool designed to detect vision problems in the macula or optic nerve.
Macular Degeneration Prevention
To prevent macular degeneration or reduce your risk of the disease, it’s important to maintain a healthy weight, eat a nutritious diet, avoid smoking, exercise regularly and maintain normal blood pressure. If you suspect you are at risk, speak with an eye doctor today.
Macular Degeneration Surgery
Typically, macular degeneration is not treated using surgery but instead relies on injections to slow the disease and reduce vision loss. In some cases, laser surgery may be used to seal leaking blood vessels that result from macular degeneration. Your doctor will go over any and all options with you.
Do I Have Macular Degeneration?
Even if you have macular degeneration, the good news is that this disease does not cause total blindness. To make the most of your vision, get regular eye exams and monitor your vision.
During your examination, some of the following tests will be performed:
- Dilated eye exam: Drops are used to dilate your eyes. Then, using a special lens, the doctor will look at the back of your eye for damage.
- Vision check using the Snellen eye chart: This chart measures how well each eye can see. The further down you can see on the eye chart (the smaller letters), the better your vision.
- Take a cross section image of your retina using an OCT.
- Use of photography with a special dye (injected into your arm) to take photographs of the retina.
- Amsler grid: You will be shown how to watch for vision changes using the Amsler grid.
Foods to Protect Your Eyes From Macular Degeneration
Studies have shown that daily supplements, such as vitamins A, C, E, beta-carotene, zinc, and copper may reduce some risks of developing severe AMD. Talk to your doctor before taking any supplements.