Frequently Asked Questions about Macular Degeneration at Swift Optical
There are many kinds of eye diseases lurking out there, some of which have the ability to rob you of at least some of your eyesight permanently. One such sight-stealer, macular degeneration, may not be a disease that you know very much about. Check out these answers to frequently asked questions about macular degeneration at Swift Optical, serving Canton, Norfolk, Potsdam, and Norwood.
What Is Macular Degeneration?
Macular degeneration, also known as age-related macular degeneration or AMD, is a condition that generally strikes later in life. It causes progressive, irreversible damage to a part of the retina called the macula.
How Does Macular Degeneration Affect Vision?
In its early stages, macular degeneration may not cause any noticeable symptoms, even though damage is being done. As the condition advances, you may start to see straight lines as wavy. You may also see blank or dark areas in the center of your field of vision. This problem grows worse and worse until only your peripheral vision remains clear.
What's the Difference Between Dry and Wet Macular Degeneration?
Dry macular degeneration, the first phase of the disease, is characterized by the appearance of yellowish particles called drusen on the retina. This phase doesn't always cause vision trouble. In the more advanced phase, wet macular degeneration, blood vessels leak into the macula, causing swelling and damage. New blood vessels meant to compensate for the damage only make things worse by causing additional blood leakage.
What Are the Risk Factors for Macular Degeneration?
Age is the primary risk factor for macular degeneration, since it usually becomes apparent after age 60. Poor diet, smoking, family history, overexposure to UV or blue light, and Caucasian ancestry are other risk factors.
How Do You Diagnose Macular Degeneration?
Our comprehensive eye and vision exams can spot even tiny changes in the macula or blood vessels of the eye, allowing us to catch the disease as early as possible.
What Kinds of Treatments Do You Prescribe for Macular Degeneration?
Dry macular degeneration is generally treated simply by monitoring the condition and recommending lifestyle or dietary changes. Wet macular degeneration may require medication to control blood vessel formation. Some advanced cases may also benefit from a type of laser surgery called photocoagulation. The sooner you pursue the recommended treatment, the more successful treatments tend to be.
We Have Your Macular Degeneration Answers in Canton, Norfolk, Potsdam, and Norwood
We're happy to help patients in Canton, Norfolk, Potsdam, and Norwood make the most of their eyesight for life. Call Swift Optical at (315) 276-3335 for a comprehensive eye exam to check for macular degeneration!