What Is Macular Degeneration? How Is It Treated?
Are you having problems with your central vision? Does it seem a little hazy or fuzzy? You could have an eye condition known as macular degeneration. You may have heard of the term, but not be quite sure what it is. Our professional optometrist, Dr. Gregory K. Wacasey of Longview, TX, and the rest of our staff are well-aware of this disease and how to treat it. We can help educate you on this condition and monitor the health of your eyes.
What Is Macular Degeneration?
Macular degeneration is a disease that affects the macula, a part of your retina. It contains light-sensitive cells that collect information from light and turns it into neural signals that the brain can translate into images. The retina is located on the back inside wall of your eye and transmits these signals to the brain through the optic nerve. The macula is the part of the retina that is responsible for your central vision. Any problems with the macula will cause problems with your central vision.
You become more susceptible to macular degeneration after the age of 50. That is why the disease is referred to as age-related macular degeneration. People who smoke, have a diet high in saturated fats, or are overweight are also more susceptible to developing this condition.
Symptoms of Macular Degeneration
- Blurry or fuzzy central vision
- Blurry areas on printed pages
- An elevated problem with glare
- Bright colors become less intense
- Straight lines on pages seem bent or wavy
Note: If you have an abrupt onset of symptoms that are quickly worsening, you should make an emergency eye appointment!
Two Types of Macular Degeneration
There are two basic types of age-related macular degeneration (AMD), dry AMD and wet AMD.
Dry AMD: The more common of the two, dry AMD can occur from the thinning of your macula tissue. It also happens when yellowish lipid deposits gather in or around your macula. These deposits are thought to be pieces of deteriorating tissue.
No current cure exists for dry AMD. Treatment includes taking vitamins that support eye health, eating a healthy diet consisting of leafy green vegetables, getting plenty of exercise, and protecting your eyes from UV light.
Wet AMD: Wet AMD is caused by unstable superfluous blood vessels growing beneath the retina that leak blood and other fluids into the retina. This leakage destroys light-sensitive cells in the macula, creating blind spots in your central vision.
Medications are available that keep your eye from growing these extra blood vessels. You may have to visit a retinal surgeon to have the medication injected.
Have Regular Eye Exams to Check for Macular Degeneration
Regular eye exams are a major part of maintaining good eye health. Discovering eye conditions like macular degeneration early gives you the best chance of maintaining your vision. Make an appointment with us here at the office of Gregory K. Wacasey OD in Longview, TX, today to get a through eye examination. Your future will be a whole lot clearer. Call ahead at (903) 663-1550 to schedule an appointment.