Macular degeneration is the leading cause of vision loss for those over 50. This incurable disease impacts your central vision and causes blurriness on the periphery. We here at Illinois Valley Eye Care encourage you to schedule an exam to test for macular degeneration. Prevention and early treatment are crucial to managing this condition.
What Is Macular Degeneration?
This condition is defined by a deterioration of the retina’s center, called the macula. Your retina is located on the back of your eyeball. Its job is to receive images from the environment so that the brain can interpret what you see.
The macula, specifically, helps focus light so that you can see clearly.
There are two basic kinds of macular degeneration: wet and dry. Dry is the most common, being around 90% of cases.
In dry macular degeneration, yellow deposits form under the macula, thinning and deteriorating this vital part of your retina. In wet macular degeneration, vessels grow abnormally under the macula. These vessels may leak fluid, causing the macula to bulge and scar.
What Causes Macular Degeneration?
Little is known about the cause of this disease. You’re more likely to develop this condition if you:
Have a family history
Are 55 or over
How Do I Prevent Macular Degeneration?
Because doctors don’t know the exact cause, they recommend that those concerned about this condition make eye-smart lifestyle changes like:
Eating a balanced diet
Reducing exposure to smoke
Wearing proper sunglasses
Managing blood pressure
How is Macular Degeneration Treated?
In the early stages, patients will have no noticeable symptoms. That’s why it’s important to get tested. Your doctor may recommend antioxidants and supplements to slow the disease. Once the condition has progressed, there is little that can be done to improve vision.
If you have wet macular degeneration, your doctor may recommend Photodynamic Therapy (PTD) or Anti-VEGF Therapy.
If you’re experiencing macular degeneration symptoms, are over 55 or have any of the mentioned risk factors, please visit our doctors in Illinois Valley Eye Care to get tested.