Could you have Macular Degeneration?

Could you be in the early stages of Age Related Macular Degeneration (AMD) and not have any symptoms. The first sign you may notice is a gradual or sudden change in the quality of your vision or that straight lines appear distorted to you. Other symptoms include dark, blurry areas or whiteout that appears in the center of your vision. There is no pain associated with AMD. Only an eye doctor such as those here at Bright Eyes Vision can detect early AMD.

Age Related Macular Degeneration is the deterioration of the area of the small central area of the retina called the macula. The macula is the area of the retina that controls visual acuity. The health of the macula determines the ability to read, recognize faces, drive, watch television, use a computer or perform any visual task that requires fine detail.

In 2010, over 2 million Americans had advanced age related macular degeneration, but with the aging of the U.S. population, this number is expected to increase greatly in the years to come. It is the leading cause of vision loss among the older population.

Macular degeneration is diagnosed as either dry (non-vascular) or wet (neo-vascular).

Neo-Vascular refers to growth of new blood vessel in the macula or other area where they are not supposed to be. The dry form is more common than the wet form with about 85% of AMD patients having this type of degeneratoin. However, the wet form of AMD leads to more serious vision loss. In its early stage, the disease results from the aging and thinning of the macula tissue along with the depositing of pigment. Gradually the central vision is lost resulting in blind spots. However, dry mascular degeneration may slowly progress to the gradual degradation of retinal cells that leads to more severe vision loss.

Currently there is no FDA approved treatment for dry macular degeneration. However, there have been a few studies where taking certain nutritional supplements. These supplements can reduce the risk of dry AMD progressing to wet AMD. These nutritional supplements contain antioxidant vitamins as well as lutein and zeaxanthing. However, none of these supplements can prevent the development of dry AMD in healthy eyes. Currently the best way to protect your eyes from developing dry AMD is to eat a healthy diet, exercise and wear sunglasses to protect your eyes from the sun’s harmful UV rays and DO NOT SMOKE.

Make an appointment here at BRIGHT EYES VISION and let us exam your eyes for AMD!