Signs of Macular Degeneration
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Macular degeneration, also known as age-related macular degeneration (AMD), is a progressive eye condition that affects the macula, the central part of the retina responsible for sharp, central vision. There are two main types of AMD: dry AMD and wet AMD. Here are some common symptoms and signs of macular degeneration:
- Blurred or Distorted Vision: a common early symptom is blurry or distorted central vision where straight lines may appear wavy or crooked.
- Dark or Empty Area in Central Vision: you may see a dark or blank spot in the center of your visual field, making it challenging to see fine details.
- Difficulty Reading or Recognizing Faces: with central vision loss, reading becomes difficult, and recognizing faces may be challenging.
- Decreased Color Perception: colors may appear less vibrant or vivid than usual.
- Increased Sensitivity to Light: bright lights may be bothersome, and you might experience increased sensitivity to glare.
- Need for Brighter Light: you likely need more light to perform tasks that require close-up focus.
- Difficulty with Activities Requiring Sharp Vision: driving, reading, writing, or using electronic devices may become more challenging.
The early stages of macular degeneration may not have obvious symptoms, or symptoms may be initially mild, making them easy to overlook. Regular eye exams are essential for individuals over age 50, particularly if you have a family history of AMD.
Treatment approaches vary depending on the type and severity of the condition.
There is currently no cure for dry AMD, but certain lifestyle changes and nutritional supplements may help slow its progression and reduce the risk of severe vision loss. Nutritional supplements can help. Specific high-dose combinations of certain vitamins and minerals of the AREDS formulation can slow the progression.
It is always important to maintain a healthy lifestyle. This includes regular exercise, not smoking, and eating a balanced diet rich in green leafy vegetables, fruits, and fish. All of these support eye health.
We often use low vision aids with our AMD patients. For individuals with significant vision loss due to dry AMD, low vision aids like magnifiers, telescopic lenses, and other vision-enhancing devices can be helpful.
For wet AMD, treatments involve stopping the abnormal blood vessel growth under the retina. These vessels lead to leakage of fluid and blood, which can cause rapid and severe vision loss. Treatments for wet AMD are designed to inhibit the growth of these blood vessels. Common treatment options include laser therapy, photodynamic therapy (PDT), and eye injections to block the abnormal vessel growth.
Come See Us
AMD varies widely among individuals, so treatment plans should be tailored to each person’s specific needs. If you or someone you know has signs of macular degeneration, it is crucial to consult with an eye care professional. Come see us at Eye Consultants of Pennsylvania for an accurate diagnosis and personalized treatment plan. It is essential to seek the most current and reliable medical information regarding AMD, and our team has it at all of our convenient locations. If you’ve experienced any changes in your vision or you just have concerns about your eye health, give us a call to consult an eye care professional today. Early detection and management can help slow the progression of AMD, so don’t hesitate to reach out to us today.
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