Best Macular Degeneration Doctors In Pennsylvania
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Are you at risk for age-related macular degeneration (AMD)? If you are over the age of 60, you may be. In fact, according to the American Academy of Ophthalmology, age is one of five top risk factors for AMD. Smoking, obesity, family history and hypertension are also risk factors. Race and sex are factors as well. Caucasians are more likely than other races to develop AMD, and women are more likely than men to develop the disease. If you have or suspect you have AMD, the best macular degeneration doctors in Pennsylvania are at Eye Consultants of Pennsylvania.
What is AMD?
AMD or age-related macular degeneration is a fairly common eye condition in people over the age of 60. In fact, AMD is the leading cause of vision loss among Americans in this age group.
Structures in the eye, the retina and the macula, enable people to see fine detail, such as print when reading. The macula is a small spot at the back of the retina; it functions to provide sharp central vision when a person is looking straight ahead, such as while driving. When the macula is damaged by AMD, it cannot correctly process the light signals and vision becomes blurry or distorted as a result.
There are two forms of AMD, dry and wet. Dry AMD is by far the most common form, with about 90% of AMD cases falling into this category. Wet AMD is a rarer, more serious advanced form of AMD that causes permanent damage to the macula and usually leads to serious vision loss.
Do I have AMD?
People with one or more risk factors for AMD should schedule an eye exam with us. If straight lines appear wavy, this could indicate an early symptom of wet AMD, so contact us right away since loss of central vision usually occurs very rapidly with wet AMD.
In the early form of dry AMD, there are no symptoms and no vision loss. If you need more light than usual for reading or other tasks, or see a blurred spot in the center of your vision, you could have intermediate AMD. While dry AMD usually affects both eyes, it does only appear in one eye in some instances.
In all of these scenarios, you should seek professional eye care. The team will conduct a comprehensive dilated eye exam.
What tests are performed?
The eye exam will include the following tests:
- Visual acuity test
- Amsler grid
- Dilated eye exam
- Optical coherence tomography (OCT) imaging
- Fluorescein angiogram
The visual acuity test is the standard eye chart test with letters and numbers; you have probably done this test many times, and it is designed to test your distance vision. The Amsler grid test will determine changes in central vision. Read more about the test.
In the dilated eye exam, eye drops widen your pupils to give the eye care professional a better view of the retina using a special magnifying lens. One of the most common signs of early dry AMD is yellow deposits called drusen. While small drusen are a common sign of aging in people over age 50, larger drusen usually indicate the presence of AMD.
Optical coherence tomography (OCT) is a high-resolution imaging technique used to look at tissues like the retina and macula. If the eye health professional suspects wet AMD, which is characterized by leakages in the small blood vessels of the eye, he or she may conduct a fluorescein angiogram. This test uses a dye to highlight the blood vessels; images are taken as the dye moves through the vessels, making it more possible to detect any leaks.
If you suspect you have macular degeneration, make an appointment with the best macular degeneration doctors in Pennsylvania at Eye Consultants of Pennsylvania. We have several convenient locations in the Pennsylvania area, and we can’t wait to have you as our newest patient.
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