Age-Related Macular Degeneration: Frequently Asked Questions
Age-related Macular Degeneration (AMD) is the leading cause of vision loss in people aged 60 and above. Most patients don’t know they have this disease until they have already experienced a significant loss of vision. Here at Oxford Optometry in Woodstock, our optometrists and staff know that AMD cannot be reversed or cured, so early detection is essential to preserving eyesight.
What is Age-related Macular Degeneration?
The macula is the central part of your retina, which is responsible for the sharp details you need for facial recognition, reading, driving, sewing, and other tasks. When the macula deteriorates, the images your brain receives become less clear, eventually making those tasks impossible.
Ninety percent of macular degeneration cases are in dry form. This type occurs when the macula thins and deteriorates, losing its function and forming yellow deposits under it.
Some patients who have dry macular degeneration will develop the wet form. This type happens when new and irregular blood vessels grow beneath the macula. These vessels leak fluid and blood, and causes scarring to occur, affecting central vision.
What Are the Symptoms of AMD?
Most AMD cases develop gradually and without noticeable symptoms. Our optometrists can detect macular degeneration before severe symptoms occur. You should call our eye doctors right away if you experience any of the following:
- Dark spot in the center of your vision
- Blurred area on a printed page
- Difficulty reading
- Blurred or fuzzy vision
- Distorted appearance of what you know to be straight lines
- Glare sensitivity
What Are the Risk Factors For AMD?
The main risk factor of this progressive eye disease is age. However, the following factors can definitively increase your chances of developing it:
- High blood pressure
- Family history of AMD
- Have light eye color
- Excessive exposure to sunlight
How is AMD Diagnosed and Treated?
Our optometrists will perform a comprehensive eye examination to diagnose AMD, which includes visual acuity testing, a thorough view of the eye structures, and discussion of your medical and family history as well as what medications you take. Once our eye doctors have determined the type and extent of your AMD, we will work with you to create a personalized treatment plan, which may involve lifestyle changes, vitamins, or laser therapy, that will help preserve your eyesight.
Slow the Progression of Age-Related Macular Degeneration with the Help of Our Eye Doctors
AMD remains incurable, but our eye doctors and staff here at Oxford Optometry in Woodstock have the skills and knowledge you need to protect and preserve your eyesight. Call us at 519-421-3303 for an appointment today. We're here to help.