What Is Macular Degeneration, and How Is It Treated?

Mature woman sitting on the sofa wearing glassesMacular degeneration is a medical condition that affects the most central portion of the retina, known as the macula. The macula is responsible for processing our sharpest vision and enables us to see details clearly. When it is damaged, we experience decreased visual acuity and can no longer read or recognize faces easily. Macular degeneration typically occurs when the small blood vessels in and around the macula become blocked or weakened, resulting in a decrease in oxygen reaching this important area of our eyesight. This can cause damage to cells within the macula, which leads to impaired vision.

What Are the Types of Macular Degeneration?

The two most common types of macular degeneration are dry and wet AMD (Age-related Macular Degeneration). Dry AMD is more commonly diagnosed than wet AMD and occurs when small, dry yellow spots (drusen) form on the macula. These drusen can lead to blurred vision and distorted images. Wet AMD occurs when abnormal blood vessels develop underneath the retina and cause fluid leakage or scar tissue formation, which may further damage the macula. While both types of AMD usually affect people over the age of 50, anyone can be affected by this condition regardless of their age.

What Are Some Treatments for Macular Degeneration?

Treatments for macular degeneration vary depending on which type is present, as well as one’s individual medical history. For dry AMD, certain vitamins and minerals have been shown to slow the actual progression of this disease. Additionally, lifestyle modifications such as quitting smoking, eating a healthy diet high in both fruits and vegetables, and wearing sunglasses can also help slow the progression. For wet AMD, laser treatments and injections into the eye may be used to reduce fluid leakage or scar tissue formation. Additionally, medications have been developed that are specifically designed to treat wet AMD by decreasing blood vessel growth.

Schedule an Appointment To Learn More at Our Pontiac and Clarkston, MI, Practice Locations

It is important to seek regular eye exams in order to monitor any changes in vision that may indicate macular degeneration. Early detection and treatment of this condition can help prevent further vision loss. Call Wilkinson Eye Center today to speak to our experienced providers about your vision health needs at 248-334-4931.

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