Macular degeneration is the leading cause of vision loss and blindness in Americans aged 65 and older. Macular degeneration, also referred to as AMD or age-related macular degeneration, is caused when damage or deterioration occurs to the macula, which is located in the center of the retina and is responsible for detailed, central vision. Though the disease is more common in people over 60, it’s possible to develop symptoms as young as age 40. Common symptoms include blurry vision and/or straight objects appearing wavy. Small blind spots may also appear in a person’s central vision.
AMD is a serious eye condition that can cause vision loss and even blindness. If you have been diagnosed with macular degeneration or have a family history of the disease, an visit with Dr. Daynes can give you ways to help slow the progression of the disease and prevent further vision loss.
What is macular degeneration?
Macular degeneration is damage or deterioration of the central area of the retina. The macula allows us to read and see fine details. When it fails to work properly, vision becomes blurry. Reading the newspaper or threading a needle may become difficult or impossible. Macular degeneration is brought on by aging, smoking and sometimes heredity.
What treatment is available?
There are two types of macular degeneration: dry (non-neovascular) and wet (neovascular).
The dry form is more common and progresses slowly . There is no surgical treatment for it, though some patients may benefit from vitamin therapy. The condition can’t be cured or reversed, but most patients retain useful vision with the help of vision aids.
People with wet macular degeneration generally notice more rapid and severe changes in their vision. It is caused by abnormal blood vessels at the back of the eye which leak fluid or blood, creating permanent tissue damage. Dr. Daynes may use laser surgery or medications to stop the bleeding and to prevent further retinal damage.