Macular Degeneration

Macular Degeneration is a progressive, age-related disease that can do substantial damage to the part of your retina that handles your central vision. Those with macular degeneration experience images that are blurry in the center and clear out of the corner of your eye. It has the potential to rob you of your ability to read, drive, and pursue your favorite hobbies.

How Macular Degeneration Threatens Your Vision
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. It involves the progressive destruction of the macula, a retinal region tasked with creating the images that make up your central visual field. When you are afflicted with macular degeneration, your macula slowly loses its ability to function, eventually producing distortions or blind spots in your central vision. While it may not cause total blindness, it can leave you with only peripheral vision. Macular Degeneration causes more cases of vision loss than glaucoma and cataracts combined.
Stages of Age-Related Macular Degeneration

AMD consists of two primary stages. The earlier stage, known as non-neovascular or “dry” macular degeneration, causes deposits known as drusen to form on the macula. This stage may continue for years without noticeable vision loss.

The second stage of AMD occurs in only 10% of these cases, advancing the symptoms to the sight-robbing “wet” neovascular stage. During this stage the macula’s blood vessels die and are replaced with faulty, leaky new blood vessels.

How We Can Help

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 generation, our eye doctors can monitor the condition closely and recommend dietary changes, exercise, and UV protection to prevent or control it. We may prescribe drug therapies to control bleeding and blood vessel formation in wet macular degeneration. If the condition has worsened, we may refer you to an eye surgeon for laser treatment.

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