Macular degeneration is a serious eye condition that can lead to blindness. While there is no cure for the dry variant, early diagnosis and treatment at Eyes on 45th in Fargo, ND, can help preserve vision. We will take a closer look at what it is, the symptoms to watch out for, and how it's treated. We will also explore ways to prevent it with the help or an optometrist. So if you or someone you know is at risk for or has been diagnosed with macular degeneration, be sure to read on.
What Is Macular Degeneration?
Macular degeneration is a condition that affects the macula, which is the part of the eye responsible for central vision. With this condition, the macula deteriorates, resulting in vision loss. Macular degeneration is a cause of blindness in older adults.
There are two types: wet and dry.
Wet macular degeneration is less common but more severe. It occurs when abnormal blood vessels grow under the macula and leak fluid or blood. This can cause vision loss quickly.
Dry macular degeneration is the more common form. It occurs when the macula deteriorates slowly. It usually doesn't lead to complete vision loss, but it can result in a blurred or dark spot in the center of your vision.
Symptoms of Macular Degeneration
Macular degeneration may affect your eyes in various ways causing the following symptoms:
- Blurry vision
- Trouble seeing objects that are straight ahead
- Dark or empty areas in your central vision
- Straight lines appear wavy
If you experience these symptoms, you should see an optometrist. Early diagnosis and treatment is key to preserving vision.
Diagnosing Macular Degeneration
There are several tests an eye doctor can use to diagnose macular degeneration. These tests include:
- Visual acuity test: This measures how well you see at different distances.
- Amsler grid: This test looks for changes in your central vision.
- Fluorescein angiography: This test uses a special dye and camera to take pictures of the blood vessels in your retina.
Once macular degeneration is diagnosed, an eye doctor on our optometry team can work with you to develop a disease management and vision preservation plan.
Macular Degeneration Treatment
There is no cure for dry macular degeneration. However, some treatments can help in the management of the disease, especially the wet version, and preserve vision. These include:
1. Anti-VEGF medications: These drugs are injected into the eye to stop the growth of abnormal blood vessels.
2. Laser surgery: This surgery is used to seal abnormal blood vessels.
3. Low vision devices: These can help build visual skills necessary for living with the condition.
Get Macular Degeneration Management with an Optometrist on Our Optometry Team
If you're experiencing symptoms of macular degeneration, it is important to see an eye doctor immediately. At Eyes on 45th in Fargo, ND, an optometrist on our optometry team can help provide diagnostics and treatment you need to preserve your vision. Call us today at (701) 492-3937 to schedule an appointment for macular degeneration management.