Macular degeneration is a serious vision-threatening eye condition that requires treatment from experienced retinal specialist eye doctors. At Retina Associates of Middle Georgia, our eye doctors have the expertise needed to help treat your macular degeneration and preserve your vision.
What Is Macular Degeneration?
Macular degeneration is a progressive eye condition that causes central vision loss. Vision loss associated with macular degeneration is typically slow and gradual.
There are two primary types of macular degeneration: dry macular degeneration and wet macular degeneration.
Dry Macular Degeneration
Dry macular degeneration is more common than wet macular degeneration. It can occur in just one eye or both eyes at the same time.
If you have dry macular degeneration worsens, it will eventually become wet macular degeneration. Experts do not know exactly what causes dry macular degeneration, but age is a significant factor in your risk of developing the condition.
Because of this, macular degeneration is also commonly known as age-related macular degeneration or AMD. Besides age, it has also been shown that genetic and environmental factors may contribute to the development of macular degeneration.
In dry macular degeneration, the cells in the macula slowly begin to break down. Since the macula is responsible for central vision, that is where you will notice changes.
Wet Macular Degeneration
Although less common, wet macular degeneration is a more serious version of macular degeneration. Those with wet macular degeneration tend to lose a more significant amount of vision than those with dry macular degeneration.
In addition, wet macular degeneration often damages vision much quicker than dry macular degeneration. Those who have wet macular degeneration have abnormal blood vessels growing beneath the retina.
When these abnormal blood vessels leak fluid, it can cause vision changes. If these blood vessels leak a large amount of fluid, it can cause you to have a blind spot in your vision.
What Are the Symptoms of Macular Degeneration?
Although each person with macular degeneration may experience symptoms differently, there are some symptoms that are very common.
Some common symptoms of macular degeneration are:
- Blurry or cloudy vision
- Straight lines appearing wavy
- Missing spots in your vision
- Loss of central vision
Since macular degeneration affects your central vision, you will likely notice difficulty focusing on certain things, including driving, reading, or cooking. Many people with macular degeneration also notice that it becomes increasingly difficult to recognize people’s faces.
Who Is Most At Risk For Developing Macular Degeneration?
Anyone can develop macular degeneration, but you are especially at risk if you are fifty or older. Other factors that may make you at higher risk include:
- Eating a diet that consists of foods that are high in saturated fats
- Having high blood pressure
- Being overweight
If you have a family history of this condition, you are also more likely to develop it.
How do Eye Doctors Treat Macular Degeneration?
There are a few choices when it comes to treating macular degeneration to preserve or attempt to restore eyesight. Currently, there is no treatment for dry macular degeneration.
However, our eye doctors work diligently to help improve symptoms caused by wet macular degeneration. At Retina Associates of Middle Georgia, our eye doctors perform retinal injections to treat wet macular degeneration.
After diagnosis, your eye doctor will be able to create a treatment plan and schedule that best fits your needs. These injections aim to halt the progression of wet macular degeneration.
Your eye doctor will usually administer these injections over time. Although this may sound daunting, it is a relatively simple process. First, your eye doctor will numb your eye to ensure that you are as comfortable as possible.
Next, they will inject the medication into the affected eye. You will likely need to see your doctor for regular injections once starting treatment.
Depending on how your eyes respond to treatment and if there seems to be an improvement, you may be able to space out your injections more.
Are you interested in learning more about macular degeneration? Schedule an appointment at Retina Associates of Middle Georgia in Warner Robins, GA, today!