Macular degeneration is an eye disease that causes loss of central vision.
It is the leading cause of vision loss for people aged 60 and above, which is why it is often referred to as age-related macular degeneration (AMD).
If you are concerned about how macular degeneration may affect your vision, consult with an experienced ophthalmologist at Fite Eye Center.
What Are The Symptoms Of Macular Degeneration?
The symptoms of macula degeneration vary, depending upon which type is present. They may also vary from individual to individual.
- Straight lines appear distorted
- Blind spot in the center of vision
- Reduction in central vision
- Burry/fuzzy vision
Early AMD often has no symptoms, so incorporating a check for AMD in your eye exam will aid considerably in early detection and treatment.
Types Of Macular Degeneration
Macular degeneration presents in two basic forms: wet macular degeneration and dry macular degeneration.
Wet Macular Degeneration
Wet macular degeneration is less common. This type causes vision loss much faster and is considered a late-stage type of macular degeneration. A person could start out having dry macular degeneration and then it can turn into wet macular degeneration at any point.
Dry Macular Degeneration
Dry macular degeneration has three stages: early, intermediate and late stage. Dry macular degeneration is progressive and can turn into wet macular degeneration if it is not diagnosed and treated in a timely manner.
What Causes Macular Degeneration?
Macular degeneration has been linked to a range of underlying causes, including:
- Chronic lack of vitamins and nutrients
- Genetic history
- History of alcohol abuse
- History of exposure to nicotine in its various forms
How Is Macular Degeneration Diagnosed?
The primary means by which AMD is diagnosed include a routine eye exam. Your ophthalmologist in Fite Eye Center dilates your pupils with medical eye drops. While the pupils are dilated, the ophthalmologist examines the macula, looking for telltale signs of small yellow deposits beneath the retina, called drusen.
Another diagnostic option for AMD is having the patient look at an Amsler grid, which is a pattern of lines that resemble the lines on a checkerboard. If some of the lines appear wavy, or if any are missing, this can indicate the presence of AMD.
Because early-stage AMD has little to no outward symptoms, diagnosis by an ophthalmologist in Fite Eye Center is essential.