We all rely on the center of our vision to perform everyday tasks like reading, driving, or even looking at other people. Macular degeneration is a serious eye disease that can cause central vision loss, impacting your ability to do any of the above.
But when we catch it early, we can slow and even stop the vision loss from occurring. At Elite Vision Care, our highly experienced eye doctors use top-of-the-line retinal technology to identify early warning signs of macular degeneration, then formulate a treatment program just for you.
Your retina is a thin wall of tissue lining the back of your eye, and its job is to translate light into electrical signals your brain can interpret as images. The center of the retina is known as the macula, and provides your central vision.
Macular degeneration (sometimes known as age-related macular degeneration, or just AMD) is an eye disease in which the macula experiences some degradation. It’s a natural thing that happens with age and the growing vulnerability of the macula. This can warp and distort your vision, and even cause permanent vision loss, meaning it’s important to get out in front of AMD early.
There are two primary forms of AMD:
Dry AMD: This accounts for approximately 90% of AMD cases. The macula thins and degrades slowly over time, and you’ll experience gradually more noticeable symptoms such as blurry vision, difficulty seeing in low light, and vision loss.
Wet AMD: This comes on more suddenly and without warning. Weak blood vessels around the retina begin to leak or burst, and subsequently damage the macula. Wet AMD causes headaches, eye pain, “spots” in your field of vision, and rapid-onset vision loss.
It’s important to see an eye doctor if you notice symptoms of macular degeneration, such as any of the following:
These symptoms may come on more slowly for a case of dry AMD, but rapidly for a case of wet AMD.
There isn’t a singular cause of AMD, but there are a number of risk factors:
While we can’t control things such as our age or family history, we can all make small lifestyle changes such as quitting smoking, or getting better about sun protection, that will go a long way towards holding off AMD. It’s always important to have an annual eye exam to check for potential signs of macular degeneration, but especially important if you have one of these risks.
Our goal at Elite Vision Care is to begin managing your AMD case as early as possible so that we can prevent the disease from causing any serious vision loss. Our concierge service means that you get personalized attention throughout your care, and you can feel comfortable and confident in your treatment.
The first step we take with AMD is using our high-end technology to monitor your retinal health. We use an Optos optomap for retinal imaging, and a visual field analyzer to check for vision loss and blind spots. We also offer macular pigment optical density (MPOD) testing, which looks at the amount of lutein and zeaxanthin pigments present in your macula. A lower amount of these can indicate a weakening macula.
If you have an advanced or complicated case, we will work closely with a local macular degeneration doctor to determine the best course of AMD management for you.