What is age-related macular degeneration?
Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is an eye condition which affects the macula – a tiny portion of your retina located at the back of your eye. This degenerative eye disease is the leading cause of legal blindness and vision loss in Americans above the age of 65. The macula is primarily responsible for sharp, central vision that helps you read, watch television or drive. Age-related macular degeneration breaks down the macula that in turn results in blurry and distorted central vision while peripheral vision might still be intact. This disease alone does not cause total blindness though it is still the major cause of irreversible vision loss in senior patients.
Stages of age-related macular degeneration
The Dry Stage
This is the more common form of age-related macular degeneration. It causes the thinning of the delicate tissues of the macula and gradual loss of function that results in mild vision loss. This occurs over a period of years to decades and the loss is very gradual. Dry macular degeneration treatment is required to avoid any complications cased by this eye condition.
The Wet Stage
This is the less common but more damaging form of this eye condition. It accounts for more than 20% of age-related macular degeneration cases and it develops in addition to the dry stage. Wet age related macular degeneration is caused by abnormal growth of blood vessel behind the macula. It leads to hemorrhaging and fluid leaking. If left untreated this could lead to formation of scar tissue and complete loss of “straight ahead” or direct vision.
Symptoms of age-related macular degeneration
Age-related macular degeneration symptoms differ among individuals. If you experience one or more of these symptoms you should come see us.
- Distorted vision
- Straight lines that appear wavy
- Blurry vision
- Loss of correct and clear colors
- Difficulty reading
- Objects appearing the wrong shape or size
- Difficulty recognizing faces
- Dark, empty area in center of vision
Diagnosis and treatment for macular degeneration
A comprehensive eye exam is required to detect age-related macular degeneration. The presence of medium to large drusen beneath the retina is an indication of AMD. Retinal photography, ERG, Optical Coherence Tomography and MPOD Macular Ocular Pigment Density are typically carried out to detect AMD.
Currently, there are no proven or approved medical treatment for age-related macular degeneration in the United States that could completely restore vision lost to this disease. But there are therapy macular degeneration treatments and dietary supplements that can improve remaining vision to a certain extent and also prevent further loss of vision.
Macular degeneration treatment in Chicago: How we can help you?
For age-related macular degeneration treatment, Des Plaines Eye Care Center is your safest and most trusted specialty eye care clinic. If you or a loved one is experiencing any of the above mentioned symptoms, schedule an appointment with us and we will chalk out a regular schedule of eye examinations. We can suggest preventive measures along with some advanced wet macular degeneration treatments that will aid in restoring your vision to a certain extent. Please get in touch with us!