Macular degeneration is one of the most common causes of vision loss in older adults today. With help from Precision Eye Institute specialists Orest Krajnyk, MD, and Sean McLoughlin, OD, you can diagnose it early and prevent its progression. There are three offices conveniently located in Edgewater, New Smyrna Beach, and Daytona Beach, Florida, so call the one nearest to you or click on the online scheduler to set up your eye exam today.
Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is an eye disease in which a particular part of your eye retina, the macula, breaks down. The macula gives you sharp central (straight-ahead) eyesight, so AMD can lead to issues like blurry vision and difficulty with reading, driving, and other routine activities.
What are the symptoms of macular degeneration?
There are two types of AMD, and symptoms can depend on the type and stage.
Dry AMD, the form that affects most people, can develop as the macula thins over the years. Dry AMD progresses very slowly. It occurs in three stages: early, intermediate, and late stage.
With early-stage dry AMD, you won’t have obvious symptoms. Intermediate dry AMD may cause issues like minor central vision blurriness and difficulty seeing in low light.
Late-stage dry AMD can cause pronounced symptoms. One common issue is straight lines appearing wavy. Other symptoms can include a blurry area or blank spots in your central vision, decreased color vibrancy, and even more difficulty seeing in low light.
Wet macular degeneration happens when highly fragile abnormal blood vessels grow and rupture in the retina. The fluid leakage further damages and scars the macula.
This leads to the same symptoms as late-stage dry AMD, like seeing wavy lines. With wet macular degeneration, symptoms appear more suddenly.
While dry AMD happens in three stages, wet AMD is always late stage. About 10-15% of dry AMD progresses to wet AMD.
Macular degeneration can affect anyone, but it most often occurs in people over 55. Genetics plays a big role as well. Smoking, high blood pressure, and obesity increase the risk of AMD fourfold.
The best treatment for AMD starts with monitoring. Schedule annual comprehensive eye exams to screen for AMD as well as glaucoma, cataracts, and other serious eye problems. This allows you to catch the condition early and delay its progression.
Specific vitamins and minerals can reduce the risk of dry AMD progression by 25%. For wet AMD, injections, laser therapy, or both can be very effective in stopping abnormal blood vessel growth.
Precision Eye Institute can diagnose AMD early, prevent its progression, and treat advanced cases all in one place. Call the office in your area or click the online scheduling link for help today.