Macular degeneration is a condition that damages the macula, the central part of the retina responsible for central vision. The damage can cause blurred vision and blind spots that are called scotomas. This condition usually affects people over 60, but it may also occur in younger individuals.
Would you like to learn more about macular degeneration? Here at Bogey Hills Vision Center, serving Saint Charles, St. Peters, Cottleville, and the surrounding areas, we’d like to share some of our insights on this eye condition.
Types of Macular Degeneration
There are two types of age-related macular degeneration (AMD). Dry AMD is the most common and occurs when the macula thins out and proteins called drusen grow, causing gradual loss of central vision. Wet AMD occurs when abnormal blood vessels grow behind the retina. These blood vessels leak fluids that cause scarring of the macula.
Symptoms of Macular Degeneration
The symptoms of AMD depend on the type you have. Common symptoms include:
- Blurred or distorted vision
- Reduced central vision in one or both eyes
- Trouble seeing in dim light
- A blind spot on the side of your field of view
- Double vision
- Decreased color perception
- Changes to how you see movement
- Problems with depth perception
The following are the major risk factors for Macular degeneration:
- Age: It’s common among individuals over 60 years
- Gender: AMD is common in women than men
- Family history: If your parents had macular degeneration, there is an increased chance that you will develop it too
- Race/ethnicity: It’s prevalent among Caucasians
- High blood pressure
- Low levels of vitamin D in the body
- Cardiovascular disease
Is Macular Degeneration Preventable?
Routine eye exams are crucial in identifying the early symptoms of macular degeneration. Additionally, the below measures can help prevent AMD:
- Avoid exposure of the eye to sunlight
- Reduce your intake of saturated fats
- Eat plenty of fruits and vegetables
- Limit alcohol and smoking
- Get regular exercises
- Manage other medical conditions like hypertension and diabetes
How Is Macular Degeneration Treated?
Currently, no cure for macular degeneration has been discovered. However, our optometrist can suggest the following ways to manage your condition.
- Low vision aid: Our doctor can suggest special lenses that can enlarge the nearby image for visibility.
- Medications: Depending on whether you are suffering from dry or wet macular degeneration, your optometrist can recommend medications that help to prevent the growth of new blood vessels.
Although macular degeneration has no cure, its progression can be slowed if diagnosed early. For this reason, at Bogey Hills Vision Center, serving Saint Charles, St. Peters, and Cottleville, we advise you to schedule an eye exam with our optometry team to rule out macular degeneration and other eye conditions.