Macular Degeneration FAQ
Living with eye disease can be difficult, especially if it's left untreated. If you're experiencing visual impairment, you might have age-related macular degeneration - also known as AMD. This form of vision loss affects over 11 million people in the United States, with some cases severe enough to cause blindness. At Livermore Optometry Group, we're providing macular degenerative treatments to the people of Livermore, California. Here's what you need to know about this eye condition, its symptoms, and its diagnosis and treatment.
What Causes Macular Degeneration?
Macular degeneration occurs as a result of damage to the macula. The eye's macula is a small structure at the center of the retina, bringing light interpretation and fine detail to our field of vision. Macula damage is often caused by age-related deterioration, although it's also associated with other risk factors like high blood pressure, poor dietary habits, and smoking. If you have any family members with a history of this degeneration, be sure to get a diagnostic screening for it.
What are the Symptoms of Macular Degeneration?
Before getting tested for macular degeneration, first, you'll need to be able to identify the symptoms. Age-related macular degeneration is characterized by blurred vision, wavy lines, distorted images, and difficulty in performing visual tasks. It's common for abnormal blood vessels to appear in the eyes.
Are There Different Types of Macular Degeneration?
This condition is categorized into two types: dry (atrophic) and wet (neovascular or exudative). In wet macular degeneration, the blood vessels are growing in a way that results in blood leak damage to the macula. In dry macular degeneration, the macula develops a buildup of fatty deposits, usually from deteriorating eye tissue. There's also early AMD, intermediate AMD, and late AMD. The early stage of AMD is often without symptoms, which is why you should get annual screenings for eye disease to stop macular degeneration in its earliest tracks.
How is Macular Degeneration Treated?
If you've been diagnosed with macular degeneration, you have options. Aside from self-care in the form of nutritional advice and dietary supplements, you can take prescribed medication like VEGFR inhibitors. You also can undergo laser surgery to permanently repair the macula's visual problems. Be sure to discuss the different treatment options with a qualified eye health provider.
Schedule an Eye Exam in Livermore, CA
Before receiving care from an eye doctor, you'll need to get an eye exam from an optometrist. If you're a Livermore resident who's interested in scheduling an eye exam, contact Livermore Optometry Group at (925) 447-3883. We'd be happy to book you an appointment.