Age-Related Macular Degeneration
Age-related macular degeneration is a common eye condition and one of the leading causes of vision loss among those older than the age of 50. Age-related macular degeneration begins with the deterioration of the small central portion of the retina, called the macula. The macula is the portion of the retina that allows for clear central vision. Age-related macular degeneration can lead to significant visual disability. There are two main types of age-related macular degeneration:
- Dry Macular Degeneration is characterized by the presence of yellow deposits in the macula, called drusen. As drusen grow in size or increase in number, they may lead to a dimming and distortion that people find noticeable when reading. In advanced cases patients may experience blind spots in the center of their vision, or loss of central vision. Dry macular degeneration is more common and typically progresses slowly over the years.
- Wet Macular Degeneration is a chronic eye disease normally caused by abnormal blood vessels that leak fluid or blood into the macula. The vessels that leak blood and fluid into the retina can cause distortion of vision that makes the appearance of straight lines look wavy. Wet macular degeneration is less common, but progresses rapidly. In advance stages, it can lead to blind spots and loss of central vision.
Currently, there's no cure no cure for age-related macular degeneration, but age-related macular degeneration treatments do exist that may slow the disease or prevent severe loss of vision. Such treatments include dietary changes, anti-angiogenic drugs to stop new blood vessels from forming and leaking, and laser treatments to destroy actively growing abnormal blood vessels.
If you are experiencing symptoms of age-related macular degeneration as described above, contact our clinic and book an appointment today.