What is the Macula?
The macula is a small area in the center of the retina. Its function is to see details of objects in the very center of your vision like the pages of a book or the screen you are currently reading.
What is Macular Degeneration?
Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is one of the primary causes of vision loss for people as they grow older, impacting folks over 50 the most. The disease slowly reduces the quality of central vision. Your peripheral vision is not reduced but advanced cases will result in a blind spot in the center of your vision.
Types of Macular Degeneration
There are two forms of macular degeneration, Dry AMD and Wet AMD.
Dry AMD is the most common and is occurs when the macular tissue gets thinner with age, slowly degrading your central vision.
Wet AMD is much more serious than Dry AMD but far less common. Dry AMD is caused by the growth of abnormal blood vessels under your retina. If those blood vessels leak, they will damage the macula, which will quickly impair your central vision.
What Causes AMD?
Age is not the sole cause of macular degeneration. Certain lifestyle choices, such smoking or a poor diet can increase the risk of developing this disease. Additionally, you are at an increased risk if the disease runs in your family.
Your ophthalmologist can perform several tests during your routine eye exam to determine if you have symptoms of macular degeneration. While there is no cure for Dry AMD, studies have shown that certain nutritional supplements can slow the disease and the corresponding vision loss. While less common, Wet AMD can be treated by your ophthalmologist either by medicine administered directly to the eye or via laser surgery.
Have you been diagnosed with macular degeneration? You have options. Please contact Eye Surgeons and Consultants of Hollywood, FL today to set up your appointment!