What Is Macular Degeneration and How Can Eye Doctor
For Seniors Help?
Macular degeneration is an eye disorder that is common among people aged 50 and older. It causes reduced or blurred central vision caused by thinning of the macula - part of the retina that is responsible for clear vision. In many cases, macular degeneration can begin in one eye and then affect both. Over time, the vision becomes worse by affecting your ability to do regular things, such as driving, reading, and even recognizing faces.
Symptoms of Macular Degeneration
Most people do not have any symptoms in the early stages of the disorder. However, there are some signs that may tell you that you have macular degeneration. The first and most common is a sudden or gradual change in the quality of the vision. Over time, this may gradually turn into a severe loss of the central vision.
There are also other symptoms, including the following:
- Having blurry or dark areas appearing in the center of the vision.
- Change in the perception of color (quite rare)
- Sensitivity to glare
- Difficulty seeing details or reading in low light levels
Diagnosis of macular degeneration
There are two ways to diagnose this disorder:
- Optical coherence tomography (OCT). This special tomography allows seeing a magnified 3D image of the retina. With the help of this method, a doctor can identify what areas of the retinal layers are affected. It also helps evaluate the effectiveness of treatments with laser or injections.
- Fluorescein angiography. By using this method, a doctor injects a dye into a vein in the arm and takes photos as the dye reaches the eyes and flows through the retina's blood vessels. This test helps the doctor see both new vessels and those that are leaking blood or fluid in the macula.
Unfortunately, there is no treatment for age-related macular degeneration. However, it is possible to stop the disease, which will prevent a severe loss of vision. An eye doctor may recommend the following treatment options:
- Anti-angiogenic drugs. These medications help stop new blood vessels from forming and blocking the leaking from the abnormal vessels causing wet macular degeneration.
- Laser therapy. It helps destroy actively growing abnormal blood vessels.
- Photodynamic laser therapy. Using a light-sensitive drug that destroys abnormal blood vessels.
- Low vision aids. Special devices that are used to enlarge images of objects.
Call Your Eye Doctor in Virginia Beach, VA
If you are experiencing problems with your vision and you have symptoms of macular degeneration, it is important to see an eye doctor as soon as possible. Atlantic Eyecare with 30 years of experience and a team of an eye doctor for seniors and regular eye doctors has been providing eye care to families from Virginia Beach for over 30 years. Just give us a call and schedule your first appointment with an eye doctor.