Age-Related Macular Degeneration (AMD), in its earliest stages, may not have any noticeable symptoms. The condition is a leading cause of vision loss among people age 50 and older. Therefore, regular comprehensive dilated eye examinations are important for early detection.
Eye Consultants of Pennsylvania is the leading full-service ophthalmic and ophthalmology practice in Berks County. Our nationally recognized team of board-certified, fellowship-trained vitreo-retinal specialists has extensive experience in a wide variety of eye diseases and conditions, including AMD.
Barry C. Malloy, MD, graduated from the University of Massachusetts Medical School and completed a vitreo-retinal fellowship at the Washington Hospital Center. Michael Cusick, MD, earned his medical degree from Georgetown University and completed a medical and surgical vitreo-retinal fellowship at the Duke Eye Center.
Both Dr. Malloy and Dr. Cusick specialize in vitreo-retinal disorders, including macular degeneration, diabetic eye disease, retinal detachment, macular edema and many other conditions that affect the retina, and have many years of experience in the most current treatments.
What is Macular Degeneration?
Age-Related Macular Degeneration (AMD) is a common eye condition that affects the macula, which is the part of the retina that allows you to see fine detail to read or drive. There are two forms – wet and dry.
Dry AMD is diagnosed when yellowish deposits known as drusen begin to accumulate in and around the macula. Drusen are often found in people over age 50. Dry AMD is more common than wet AMD; nearly 90% of AMD patients are diagnosed with dry AMD.
Wet AMD is considered advanced AMD and occurs when new blood vessels grow underneath the retina and leak blood and fluid. This causes permanent damage to light-sensitive retinal cells, and creates blind spots in the central vision. The wet form of AMD usually leads to more serious vision loss.
What are the Symptoms of Macular Degeneration?
AMD usually produces a gradual loss of vision without pain or discomfort. In rare cases, however, vision loss can be sudden. If you experience any of the following symptoms, get in touch with Eye Consultants of Pennsylvania as soon as possible.
- Normally straight lines appear wavy or bent
- A dark or blind spot in the center of your field of vision
- Increasing blurriness of printed words
- Difficulty recognizing faces
- Difficulty distinguishing colors
- Sensitivity to bright lights
- Loss of depth perception
Macular degeneration may affect one eye and not the other. If only one eye is affected, you may not notice any vision changes because your good eye compensates for any vision loss or distortion. Without regular eye exams, the vision changes may not be apparent until the second eye becomes affected.
How is AMD Detected?
AMD is detected during a comprehensive dilated eye exam that includes a visual acuity test that measures how well you see at various distances. In the dilated eye exam, drops are placed in your eyes to widen, or dilate, the pupils. Your eye care professional uses a special magnifying lens to examine your retina and optic nerve for signs of AMD and other eye problems.
If you believe you are experiencing some of the symptoms of macular degeneration, make an appointment with Eye Consultants of Pennsylvania as soon as possible. We have four convenient locations in Wyomissing, Pottsville, Pottstown and Blandon. Our goal is to prevent vision loss and make your world a brighter, clearer place.