Macular degeneration is a relatively common and serious condition of the eye. The macula is the part of your eye that allows you to see clearly in your direct line of sight. Macular degeneration occurs when your macula begins to thin, causing blurred or reduced central vision. This condition often affects one eye first, and later, the other eye. At Oxford Optometry in Woodstock, we have the latest technology to detect eye conditions like macular degeneration.
Who Is At Risk of Developing Macular Degeneration?
While anyone can develop macular degeneration, certain factors can increase your risk of developing it. The risk factors include:
- Age: This condition is common in people over 50.
- Family history: If one of your parents have macular degeneration, your risk increases.
- Race: This condition is more common in Caucasians.
- Obesity: Studies have shown that being obese can increase your risk of developing macular degeneration.
- Cardiovascular disease: Heart and blood vessel conditions can cause macular degeneration.
- Smoking: Smoking cigarettes significantly can make you have a higher chance of getting the eye condition.
What Are the Symptoms of Macular Degeneration?
In the early stages, macular degeneration shows no symptoms. As the condition progresses, symptoms come on gradually and they include:
- Distorted vision, such as straight lines appearing bent
- Loss of central vision in one or both eyes
- Difficulty adapting to lowly lit areas
- Needing brighter lights when doing close-up work
- Blurriness when reading
- Seeing colors less brightly than you once did
- Trouble recognizing faces
How Is Macular Degeneration Diagnosed?
Macular degeneration can be detected during your annual dilated eye exam. When your eyes are dilated, our optometrists will examine the back of your eye to check for presence of macular degeneration. If our Woodstock optometrists suspects macular degeneration, there are a few oContetnther tests that they might perform.
- Amsler Grid Test: This tests for distorted vision. If you look at the chart and see broken, faded, or distorted lines, you could have this condition.
- Optical Coherence Tomography: This is an imaging test that can identify retinal thinning, swelling, and thickening.
How Is Macular Degeneration Treated?
There is no cure for macular degeneration. There are vitamin supplements available that can slow the progression. If your condition is causing severe vision problems, low vision rehabilitation is an option. In advanced cases, our Woodstock eye doctors may recommend surgery to implant a telescopic lens.
Because macular degeneration shows no early signs, annual exams at Oxford Optometry in Woodstock are essential. Our eye doctors will perform a dilated eye exam to check for all serious conditions of the eye. Schedule an eye exam with us at 512-421-3303.