Clear vision should never be taken for granted. It should be cherished and every effort should be made to keep it that way. Scheduling regular eye exams is one of the most important things you can do to preserve your eyesight. At Eye-Site, we have been providing Boynton Beach, FL residents with reliable optometry services for many years. Macular degeneration is a particularly threatening condition that can cause permanent vision loss and blindness. Read on to learn more about what it is and how it can be managed.
What is Macular Degeneration?
Macular degeneration is a deterioration of the macula which is the center of the retina. This portion of the retina is responsible for central vision, which is what allows you to read, drive, and see fine detail. It is usually referred to as Age-Related Macular Degeneration or AMD.
Is Macular Degeneration Hereditary?
Heredity does play a role in your risk of developing macular degeneration. Why or how this happens is not clear, but 15-20% of people who develop age-related macular degeneration have a close family member who also has the condition.
What Factors Place Me at Risk for Macular Degeneration?
If you are over 60, you are more likely to suffer from macular degeneration. As mentioned before, it is possible to inherit the condition. Additionally, smoking, obesity, and heart disease make you more likely to experience macular degeneration.
What Are the Types of Macular Degeneration?
There are two types of macular degeneration: wet and dry. The dry form is the most common and accounts for 80% of cases. Wet is the more serious type and always begins as dry. Wet macular degeneration occurs when new blood vessels develop under the retina and begin to leak.
How Is Macular Degeneration Diagnosed?
Our optometrist will first perform a dilated eye exam. Other tests may be performed as indicated by the exam. Other additional tests that may be performed such as autofluorescence photos, fundoscopy, ophthalmoscopy, fundus photography, fluorescein angiography, and optical coherence tomography (OCT).
What Treatment Options Are Available for Macular Degeneration?
There is no cure for macular degeneration. However, treatments are aimed at slowing or halting progression. Vitamin supplements may help protect the eye from progressing to more advance forms of the disease. In the case of wet AMD, injections may be indicated to stop the growth of new blood vessels and prevent further leakage in the retina. Our eye doctor will assess your condition to determine the combination of treatments that is best for you.
Contact Our Optometrist in Boynton Beach, FL Today
If you suspect you are suffering from macular degeneration, schedule an eye exam today. For more information or to schedule an appointment with our optometrist, call Eye-Site today at (561) 738-0111.