Macular degeneration can gradually decrease your vision, which is why early detection is important if you want to maintain your eyesight. Matthew Sisson, OD, provides macular degeneration evaluations and management strategies at Optic Gallery Sparks in Sparks, Nevada. Call or schedule your next visit to learn more about macular degeneration today.
Macular degeneration is a common cause of vision loss among people 50 and older. It affects your central vision and the ability to see fine details. In the early stages of macular degeneration, you may not have any symptoms, which is why routine eye exams are important.
The two common types of macular degeneration are:
The wet form of macular degeneration is less common than the dry form and often causes more significant vision loss. It develops when abnormal blood vessels appear beneath your retina and leak blood and fluid.
Dry macular degeneration is more common, affecting about 80% of people with age-related macular degeneration. Light-sensitive cells in the macula begin to break down, usually one eye at a time, likely due to membrane damage under the retina.
The symptoms of age-related macular degeneration include:
An early sign of macular degeneration is tiny yellow deposits in the retina. Your optometrist can detect such deposits during an eye exam.
Risk factors that may contribute to macular degeneration include:
Adopting healthy lifestyle habits is the best way to minimize the risk of macular degeneration, but you can’t always avoid it.
To diagnose macular degeneration, the Optic Gallery Sparks team reviews your symptoms, medical history, and lifestyle. They complete vision testing by having you read from an eye chart and look through various lenses.
Your optometrist completes an eye exam and dilates your pupils to obtain a detailed view of your eyes. Eye imagining procedures using special dye can detect leaking blood vessels. You might also look at a checkerboard grid to determine if straight lines appear missing or wavy.
Your macular degeneration treatment depends on the type and severity of your condition. It may include:
Your optometrist personalizes each treatment and refers you to a specialist if you require eye surgery.