Retinal Ophthalmologists located in Desoto, Texas & Plano, TX
Macular degeneration affects more than 10 million American adults today, and it’s the most common cause of vision loss in patients over 65. This condition causes a decrease in central vision, but some aspects of the disease are controllable. If you reach out to Retina Specialists in Dallas, DeSoto, Plano, Mesquite, and Waxahachie, Texas, for help, you can maximize your vision and improve your quality-of-life. Call the office nearest you now.
Macular Degeneration Q & A
What is macular degeneration?
Macular degeneration is a condition that happens when your central retina, the macula, breaks down. The macula enables central vision, so a healthy macula is crucial for reading, driving, and moving around safely. As the macula breaks down, central vision decreases. Total loss of central vision is a possibility, as well.
Macular degeneration is most common after age 50, and it’s the leading cause of blindness in men and women after age 65.
Although the causes of macular degeneration aren’t certain, many factors, including genetics and environment, may contribute. Smoking and uncontrolled hypertension may play a role, so it’s important to manage these factors effectively.
When should I get checked for macular degeneration?
Your ophthalmologist can detect even early-stage macular degeneration during comprehensive eye exams.
The American Academy of Ophthalmology recommends that adults have a baseline comprehensive eye exam at age 40, or earlier if recommended by your ophthalmologist.
If you’re at risk for macular degeneration because you suffer from conditions such as high blood pressure or diabetes, have a checkup at the time of your diagnosis.
After your baseline exam, your Retina Specialists ophthalmologist recommends an exam frequency for your needs. If you’re over 50, and an immediate family member has macular degeneration, arrange your eye exam at Retina Specialists as soon as possible.
What are the types of macular degeneration?
The two types of macular degeneration include:
Dry macular degeneration
Dry macular degeneration, which makes up around 90% of all macular degeneration cases, occurs when your macula thins and changes in color. Small deposits of waste products, called drusen, accumulate on the retina and may contribute to further deterioration.
Wet macular degeneration
Wet macular degeneration makes up only around 10% of all cases. Most wet macular degeneration sufferers have the dry form of the condition first.
In wet macular degeneration, abnormal blood vessel growth occurs behind your retina. These blood vessels leak fluid into your macula, which damages cells and may cause scar tissue buildup.
In the early stage of macular degeneration, you're unlikely to have any vision loss yet, but your Retina Specialists ophthalmologist can diagnose it during your comprehensive eye exam.
In intermediate macular degeneration, you might have some minor vision loss, but many sufferers still don't have obvious symptoms yet.
In late-stage macular degeneration, the central vision loss is obvious. All wet macular degeneration is late-stage.
How is macular degeneration treated?
The ophthalmologists at Retina Specialists diagnose and treat macular degeneration using the most advanced solutions. Your treatment may include:
- Lifestyle changes
- Nutritional supplements
- Intraocular injection of anti-VEGF medications
- Laser surgery
- Photodynamic therapy
The goal is maximizing your vision and making your quality-of-life better, no matter what stage of macular degeneration you’re dealing with.
For a macular degeneration evaluation, diagnosis, and treatment from experts, call the Retina Specialists office nearest you or use online booking now.
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