The eye doctor and staff here at Foster Vision here in Portland know that your site is precious. Here are some things you need to know about macular degeneration.

What is Macular Degeneration?

Macular degeneration occurs when the small portion of the retina (Macula) wears down. The most common form of this eye disease is called Age-Related Macular Degeneration (AMD) because it occurs as a person gets older, most often past 60. The leading cause of severe permanent loss of vision, this condition can cause several severe vision problems. Stargardt disease or juvenile macular degeneration is rarer and affects children, teens, and young adults.

Types of Age-related macular degeneration:

  • Dry – Occurs when yellow deposits called drusen collect in the macula. As the drusen bet bigger, they can dim or distort vision. If the condition worsens, light-sensitive cells in your macula become thinner and ultimately die. This can lead to losing one’s central vision.
  • Wet – blood vessels that leak blood and fluid into the retina can sometimes distort vision, so straight lines appear way. Wet AMD can result in the loss of central vision. Left untreated, this type of bleeding will eventually form a scar that leads to permanent loss of central vision.

What are the Symptoms of Macular Degeneration?

AMD often goes unnoticed early on with no noticeable signs. Sometimes this goes diagnosed until worsening or affects both eyes. Symptoms of AMD include:

  • Less clear or worse vision. Vision might be blurry, making it hard to drive or read the fine print.
  • Blurry or dark areas in the center of your vision.
  • On rare occasions, different color perception.

Macular degeneration may be genetic, but there are certain factors that raise its risk. These include obesity, having high blood pressure, or high cholesterol. Eating too many saturated fats, smoking, have light eye colors, and/or having light skin.

How is Macular Degeneration Diagnosed and Treated?

AMD can be detected with a routine eye exam. The most common cause of AMD is drusen (tiny yellow spots) under the retina or pigment clumping. Sometimes your eye doctor may use procedures called angiography or OCT to produce an image as the dye flows through the blood vessels in the retina.

There is no cure for AMD and treatments are slow working. However, there are options available to your eye doctor in treating AMD. These include:

  • Anti-angiogenesis drugs
  • Laser therapy
  • Photodynamic laser therapy
  • Low vision aids.

To learn more about how we can treat your macular degeneration or schedule an appointment, call or visit our website at Foster Vision.