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Macular Degeneration

Macular degeneration is an eye disease that can lead to loss of vision. While this disease doesn't always lead to blindness, it is one of the more common causes of blindness, behind other eye conditions like cataracts and glaucoma. So what do you need to know about macular degeneration?

Woman getting tested for macular degeneration.

Risk Factors for Macular Degeneration

Symptoms may not manifest early on, but your vision can gradually worsen over time due to this condition. Macular degeneration is often age-related, but it can be associated with other factors like genetics, smoking, hypertension, obesity and high cholesterol.

Signs and Symptoms of Macular Degeneration

Symptoms of macular degeneration include distorted vision, blurred vision, loss of color sensitivity, visual hallucinations not related to mental illness, trouble in recognizing faces, and difficulty reading or driving. If you visit an optometrist in Woodstock, be sure to report on any and all symptoms that may be related to macular degeneration.

Preventive Measures

There are measures you can take to slow down or prevent macular degeneration. Regularly exercising, healthy dieting, and avoiding smoking are some of the more common preventive methods. Certain types of medication can also slow down the disease.

Cause of Macular Degeneration 

The degeneration of the macula most often occurs among aging people. The exact reason behind macular degeneration isn't well known, but some theories have been put forth.

Macular degeneration, also known as AMD, progresses into different stages. In early AMD, symptoms aren't yet visible. In intermediate AMD, symptoms like vision loss may show up. In late AMD, the condition typically devolves into neovascular disease or atrophy. There is also dry AMD and wet AMD.

Diagnosis and Management

Optometrists will usually perform a complete eye examination to determine the cause of your visual problem. Your doctor might prescribe you supplements like lutein and zeaxanthin to slow down the progression of macular degeneration. Laser coagulation, photodynamic therapy, and cataract surgery are all methods that have been used to treat macular degeneration. Medication is often prescribed alongside procedures for this condition. 

Patients have also used adaptive devices to deal with everyday visual tasks like reading. Adaptive devices include computer screen readers, video cameras, and accessible publishing materials that specialize in assisting people who have visual problems. 

Seeking Treatment for Macular Degeneration

If you are a Woodstock ON resident with age-related macular degeneration, Oxford Optometry can help you. Our staff is more than qualified to diagnose and treat eye conditions like macular degeneration. We offer a wide variety of treatment options that can suit your personal needs and desires. Feel free to call us at 519-421-3303 to schedule an appointment today. 

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