Macular Degeneration

What is Macular Degeneration?

More common than glaucoma and cataracts combined, macular degeneration is a leading cause of vision loss. Presently, macular degeneration is considered an incurable disease. With age we become prone to the disease as the central portion of the retina deteriorates and distorts our ability to see images clearly.

The central portion of the human eye is the most essential part of vision as it is what sends images to the brain. When the cells of the macula begin to deteriorate, those images are disrupted with blurriness or lack of clarity. If you are 60 years or older, you should be tested for this age-related disease.

Types of macular degeneration

Dry. Approximately 90% of people have dry or type 1. Those with type 1 may still have good central vision but the steadiness of their vision will vary.
Wet. The other 10% of patients with macular degeneration have wet or type 2. Patients will see a dark spot in the center of their vision and lines will no longer appear straight.

Stages of Age-related Macular Degeneration (AMD)

Early AMD. Early stages are not detectable without an exam. The presence of medium-sized, yellow deposits beneath the retina is a common sign of early AMD.
Intermediate AMD. When you begin experiencing a loss of vision, you are likely experiencing the middle stage of AMD; however, symptoms may still not be as obvious. A comprehensive eye exam will test for changes in the retina.
Late AMD. When you reach the late stage of AMD, a loss of vision is more noticeable. An eye exam will determine proper treatment of life with vision troubles.

What are common symptoms?

Given that macular degeneration is a common eye disease, if you’ve ever experienced any of the following symptoms, you should consider being tested for macular degeneration:

Change in vision. Straight lines begin to appear distorted.
Dramatic loss of vision. If you are unable to see images clearly. Most commonly, the center area is dark and blurry.
Change in perception of color. If colors are appearing differently, it is advised to go in for a routine eye exam.


How to treat macular degeneration

Anti-angiogenic drugs. A doctor will inject medication into the eye to stop new blood vessels from forming and help prevent leaking from abnormal vessels.
Laser therapy. Treating the abnormal vessels with laser therapy is another method of attempting to kill off abnormal blood vessels from growing.
Photodynamic laser therapy. This is a two-step treatment which firsts consists of a doctor injecting medication in your bloodstream. Then, a laser will be shined into your eyes to damage the abnormal blood vessels.

Get tested today.

A comprehensive exam is the only method to detect macular degeneration. We cannot stress how important early detection is for the prevention and care of this vision-impairing disease. Schedule your comprehensive eye exam today by calling Hayder Eye Care in El Paso at 915-592-4600.

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