Macular degeneration is the leading cause of legal blindness for American over the age of 55. Because the causes and symptoms can be hard to determine, the best way to monitor your risk or progression is with regular routine examinations.
If you are a Poughkeepsie & Yorktown Heights resident and you would like to find out if you are at risk for macular degeneration, or if you think you may be experiencing symptoms, call (845) EYE-CARE to schedule an appointment with one of our experienced eye doctors today.
What is Macular Degeneration?
Also referred to as age-related macular degeneration (AMD or ARMD), macular degeneration is a condition that refers to a deterioration of the retina that can lead to serious central vision complications.
There are two main types of macular degeneration:
- Dry macular degeneration - This is the most common type of age related macular degeneration and accounts for 85 to 90 percent of all cases. Typically, this form will result in a slowly progressive dimming of your central vision and should be monitored carefully for progression into wet macular degeneration.
- Wet macular degeneration - Characterized by the formation and growth of abnormal blood vessels beneath the retina, wet macular degeneration represents a much more significant threat to your vision that can lead to irreversible damage.
To diagnose or monitor this condition, it’s important to consult your ophthalmologist regularly.
The Causes of Macular Degeneration
The Retina is a highly vascular tissue that requires the continuous supply of oxygen and nutrients in order to maintain its normal health. As we age, the small arteries that supply the Retina become hardened and begin to narrow. The hardening and narrowing of these arteries deprives the Macula of oxygen and nutrition causing it to begin to degenerate. This results in a gradual progressive loss of functioning of the sensitive tissue.
The changes in your vision caused by Macular Degeneration can be mild resulting in a slight “dimming” or “distortion” of your central vision, or they may be extreme resulting in a complete loss of your central vision. Macular Degeneration DOES NOT cause complete blindness as the effects of Macular Degeneration are limited to the central Retina and therefore will spare your peripheral vision.
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Diagnosing and Treating Macular Degeneration
You may be at risk for macular degeneration if you experience symptoms such as:
- Blurred or decreased central close-up and distance vision
- The presence of blind spots or scotomas
- Metamorphopsia (the occurrence of straight lines appearing irregular or bent in addition to objects that appear to be a different color or shape in each of the eyes)
- Micropsia (the occurrence of objects appearing smaller in one eye than the other)
The only way to successfully diagnose macular degeneration is with a comprehensive examination by an experienced retinologist, such as Dr. Mazel.
While there is no known cure or treatment for dry macular degeneration, the wet form can be addressed with laser treatments and a variety of drug therapies and antioxidants.
Contact Seeta Eye Center Today
To learn more about macular degeneration and how it can be monitored and treated, contact Seeta Eye at (845) EYE-CARE today. Our experienced eye doctors serve patients in Poughkeepsie & Yorktown Heights, Yorktown, Dutchess County and nearby areas of the Hudson Valley.