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Macular Degeneration

Age related macular degeneration (AMD) is a deterioration of the central vision area of the retina called the macula. The macula is responsible for our fine central detailed vision. AMD is a sight-threatening eye disease that affects over 10 million Americans. Although the exact cause of AMD is not known, it is thought to be accelerated by the aging process. The risk of developing macular degeneration increases with age, family history, vascular status, active smokers, lifetime sun exposure, and even blue light exposure.

There are two forms of age related macular degeneration, a “wet” type, and a “dry” type.

The “dry” type has a better prognosis. On average, this condition is slowly progressive and patients retain functional vision. Although there is no cure for dry macular degeneration, treatment is available. Nutritional supplements, protection from ultraviolet radiation, special medications, laser treatment, and even eye injections are all considerations depending on the degree of advancement of the condition. Careful monitoring is imperative to track possible advancement.

The “wet” type of macular degeneration affects about 10% of the patients with AMD and causes more severe vision issues. Sometimes the loss of vision from wet AMD can happen rapidly. The devastating part of AMD is that vision loss can occur in our most critical, central part of our vision. The progression of AMD cannot be reversed so early treatment is critical to preventing or limiting vision loss. Treatment for wet AMD often include laser retinal treatments or even retinal injections.

As part of your comprehensive eye examination, we can detect early signs of macular degeneration. There are many lifestyle modifications, nutritional supplements, as well as eyewear products that can help slow the onset and/or progression of macular degeneration. Our eye doctors can diagnose as well as discuss many aspects of macular degeneration. We are proud to be providers for the MacuHealth supplement.

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Regular eye exams are critical for detecting diseases and conditions early. Early detection is often the key to effective treatment.

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