What is Macular Degeneration and Do I Have It?

As your eye doctor in Northlake, Texas I diagnose and treat Macular Degeneration. This is a disease that is more common in elderly patients and it can lead to partial or complete vision loss. Every year in the United States there are over two hundred thousand cases of Macular Degeneration and it can impact virtually anyone. Is important to note that while this disease cannot be cured, treatment can help and the sooner that the disease is diagnosed the more treatment options are going to be available to you. This is not something that you can diagnose yourself so if you are experiencing vision loss that has come on suddenly or you are noticing a rapid decline in your vision, it’s critical that you schedule an eye exam as quickly as possible.

Signs of Macular Degeneration

As your optometrist, I want my patients to pay attention to their vision to see if they are beginning to suffer from blurred vision, as this is a common symptom of a disease. Additionally, some people are unable to see without very much light and have difficulty seeing at night or in a dim room. Others have challenges seeing things that should be straight because they appear to be wavy or moving while others see spots. Given the vast number of symptoms, the best thing you can do is schedule an appointment with our clinic for a proper diagnosis. If you do not have this eye disease, we can determine what is causing your vision challenges and recommend treatment solutions regardless.
macular degeneration

Causes

With vision loss, sometimes it is the peripheral vision that is impacted. With Macular Degeneration the loss occurs in the center of your vision. There are two main types of Macular Degeneration – dry and wet. In the case of dry Macular Degeneration, it is the center portion of the actual retina that begins to deteriorate. Whereas with what wet Macular Degeneration, the vision loss takes place because of leaky blood vessels and can affect the entire retina.

Treatments

There are several ways to treat Macular Degeneration and our recommendations will be based on your age, the severity of your symptoms, and how far the disease has progressed. For example, some people are able to simply improve their vision by wearing glasses or contact lenses while other people are good candidates for laser surgery or injections to slow the progression of the disease. In some cases, certain vitamins and supplements can also be useful in slowing the disease and vision loss.

Risk Factors

Research is ongoing to determine what the exact risk factors and causes of Macular Degeneration are. However, preliminary findings indicate that genes can play a role in whether or not you get this disease so if you know someone in your family that has had it, you should certainly be on the lookout for the symptoms. Another risk factor that has been identified is smoking, having high blood pressure, and obesity. These are three things that can be controlled with diet and exercise or medications so by helping your body to be healthier, you could also be improving your eye-health or at least reducing the likelihood of you suffering from an eye disease.

To learn more about Macular Degeneration or to have your eyes tested, call our office and schedule an appointment. As your eye doctor in Northlake, Texas we can help you to maintain your vision and even to improve it.

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