Age-Related Macular Degeneration
Age-Related Macular Degeneration is the leading cause of severe vision loss in adults over the age of 50. This serious eye disease occurs when there are changes to the macula, a small portion of the retina that is located on the inside back layer of the eye.
Macular Degeneration is a loss of central vision. It can occur in two forms: “dry” (atrophic) or “wet” (exudative).
Most people stricken with macular degeneration are diagnosed with the dry form. Sadly, there is no known treatment for the dry form. The less common wet form may respond to laser procedures if it’s diagnosed and treated early.
So, it’s of the utmost importance that you get annual eye checkups – especially the older you are.
Symptoms of Macular Degeneration
Our eye specialists urge you to contact Global Eye & Laser Center to arrange an eye exam as soon as you think you may be at risk of macular degeneration.
The symptoms of macular degeneration include:
- Gradual loss of ability to see objects clearly
- Objects appear distorted; straight lines appear wavy or crooked.
- Loss of clear color vision
- A dark or empty area appears in the center of vision
Treatment of Macular Degeneration
With dry macular degeneration, the tissue of the macula – the oval-shaped pigmented area near the center of the retina of the eye – gradually becomes thinner and stops functioning properly. There is no cure for dry macular degeneration. Any loss in central vision cannot be restored.
However, doctors now believe there is a link between nutrition and the progression of dry macular degeneration. Dietary changes favoring low-fat foods and dark green leafy vegetables may slow vision loss. Nutritional supplements may also be beneficial.
Wet macular degeneration results when fluids leak from blood vessels beneath the macula. This leakage blurs your central vision and loss of vision can be rapid and severe. If detected early enough, wet macular degeneration can be treated with a laser. This process is called photocoagulation. During photocoagulation, the eye specialist uses a highly focused beam of light to seal the leaking blood vessels.
There is a second form of treatment known as photodynamic therapy. This involves a medication that is injected into the bloodstream and then activated with a laser.
There is a newer therapy that involves a medication that is injected into the back of the eye. It is showing favorable results.
While none of these treatments offers a permanent cure, they have been shown to slow the rate of central vision loss.
If you are experiencing any symptoms of age-related macular degeneration, we urge you to contact us today to schedule an eye exam!
- 18632 Beach Blvd., Suite 100
- Huntington Beach, CA 92648