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If you can imagine a world where only the images you saw out of the corner of your eye appeared clear, you have some idea of what macular degeneration can do to your eyesight. This progressive age-related eye diseases can do substantial damage to the part of the retina that handles your central vision, potentially robbing you of your ability to read, drive, pursue hobbies or view your favorite faces. Our eye doctors at Primary Eyecare and Optical of Meridian, Dr. Duong and Dr. Dooley, want to help protect you from this disease through comprehensive eye care.
Macular degeneration is often referred to as age-related macular degeneration, or AMD, because it typically shows up in an eye exam after the age of 60. As the name suggests, it involves the progressive destruction of the macula, a retinal region tasked with creating the images that make up your central visual field. in macular degeneration, this region slowly loses its ability to function, eventually producing distortions or blind spots in your central vision. While macular degeneration may not cause total blindness, it can leave sufferers with only peripheral vision -- and it causes more cases of vision loss in the U. S. than glaucoma and cataracts combined.
AMD consists of two primary stages. The earlier stage, non-neovascular or "dry" macular degeneration, causes deposits known as drusen to form on the macula. This stage may continue for years without causing noticeable vision loss. But 10 percent of these cases advance to the sight-robbing "wet" (neovascular) stage, in which the macula's blood vessels die and are replaced with faulty, leaky new blood vessels.
Any eye disease that causes permanent damage needs to be diagnosed and treated as early as possible so our optometrists in Meridian can help preserve your eyesight. A comprehensive eye exam that includes retinal evaluation allows us to identify drusen, bleeding, thinning of the macular tissue and other trouble signs before you ever experience any vision loss.
While there is no specific medical treatment for dry macular degeneration, we can monitor this condition closely and recommend dietary changes, exercise and UV protection to help prevent or control it. We can prescribe drug therapies to control the bleeding and blood vessel formation of wet macular degeneration, or even refer you to an eye surgeon for laser treatment to minimize these issues. A nutritional protocol called AREDS2 may also keep a case of wet macular degeneration from worsening.
Now that you the dangers of letting macular degeneration sneak up on you, take action to keep this irreversible eye diseases (and others) at bay. Safeguarding your vision starts with an eye exam, so call our optometrists in Meridian at 601-485-2020 to schedule an appointment!