The macula is a part of the retina in the back of the eye that ensures that our central vision is clear and sharp. Most of your vision comes from the macula. Age-related macular degeneration (ARMD) is a blinding eye disease that can cause gradual loss of your central vision. You may experience anything from a blurry, gray or distorted area to a blind spot in the center of vision. You may experience a gradual loss of ability to see objects clearly, difficulty reading and difficulty driving.
ARMD becomes more common as you age. If you smoke or who have a family history of macular degeneration you are more likely to develop the disease. Early stages of ARMD may often have no symptoms. It is very important that you maintain regular dilated eye examinations as you age. ARMD can only be properly diagnosed with a dilated eye examination.
As board certified ophthalmologists and eye doctors at the Eye Surgery Institute can determine if the macular degeneration is the dry form or the wet form. The treatment plan is formulated based on the type of macular degeneration that is diagnosed. Regular dilated eye examinations as well as imaging of the macula with an OCT are indicated to assess for changes.
Treatment for Macular Degeneration
Sometimes we recommend special vitamins based on the Age Related Eye Disease Study (AREDS) to help slow the progression of the disease and monitoring of the vision at home with an Amsler grid. If any changes are noted you are instructed to return to the office as soon as possible. Wet ARMD can often be treated with injections of medication into the eye. The injections into the eye can help maintain the vision and possibly improve the vision.
ARMD doesn’t cause total blindness because it doesn’t affect your peripheral vision. ARMD may have no symptoms at the early stages and it effects your central vision as the disease progresses. This can make it difficult for you to read or drive a car. Regular eye exams are highly recommended to detect macular degeneration early and prevent permanent vision loss.