Macular Degeneration Treatment in Cornwall, PA
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Older adults are often affected by a disease called AMD, or age-related macular degeneration. Degeneration of the area of the eye known as the macula (located in the retina) results in a loss of central vision. AMD is the leading cause of visual impairment and blindness in people over age 50. If you are in Cornwall, PA and suspect you have AMD, or if your regular eye doctor is concerned about it, you need to seek macular degeneration treatment at Eye Consultants of Pennsylvania in Lebanon, PA.
What are the symptoms?
When you have macular degeneration, your central vision is affected. This means that you may have trouble reading or recognizing faces. You will still have peripheral vision so, for instance, you can see a person’s hair but perhaps not their face. With peripheral vision intact, many people can still perform the activities of daily life, but central vision does worsen over time.
What are the symptoms? If your vision is blurred, or if you often see blind spots when you are looking into the distance, you might have AMD. Furthermore, if you are seeing floaters or flashes in your vision, these are also AMD symptoms.
The biggest reason why AMD goes unnoticed, often for years, is that the condition is not painful. This is why regular eye exams are so important. Your eye doctor can use special instruments and imaging equipment to evaluate your retina and macula to look for changes at every appointment.
What is the retina?
The retina is a structure in the eye. It consists of layers of nerve cells called photoreceptors (rods and cones) and small blood vessels. The main purpose of the retina is that it transmits light and images to the brain via the optic nerve. Any disconnect between the retina and the optic nerve will result in vision impairment. With AMD, damage to the nerve cells or blood vessels causes this disruption.
Is AMD age-related?
AMD is definitely age related. From age 65 to 75, about 10% of people will experience the disease. When patients are age 75 to 85, about one-third of all seniors will have AMD. Your family history is also a factor. However, with regular eye exams and early detection, you can keep AMD at bay.
Are there different forms of the disease?
AMD takes two forms. Advanced AMD is known as the dry form. Layers of photoreceptor cells in the macula and retina begin to atrophy, causing the loss of vision. The other form of AMD is the wet form. This form is caused by abnormal blood vessel growth in or near the macula. Blood leaks from the vessels into the macular region and causes the vision loss. Over a short time, there is irreversible damage to the photoreceptor cells. If left untreated, the wet form of AMD can cause rapid vision loss. However, the wet form of AMD is very rare; only about 10% of patients suffer from this type.
Can AMD be treated?
The dry form of AMD cannot be treated, but certain vitamin and mineral supplements may slow the progression of the disease. For the wet form, laser surgery can help, as can a treatment called photodynamic therapy (PDT). Additionally, steroids can also be used to treat the wet form.
If you live or work in Cornwall, PA and have been diagnosed with macular degeneration, or suspect you have it based on symptoms you’ve been experiencing, come see the retinal specialists at Eye Consultants of Pennsylvania in Lebanon, PA for macular degeneration treatment.
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