Family EyeCare Center, P.C.
Optometrists & Contact Lens Specialists located in Pella, IA
As many as 11 million American adults currently suffer from age-related macular degeneration. This serious eye disease is one of the most common causes of vision impairment and blindness worldwide, but with early diagnosis and proper management, you can slow its progression. At Family EyeCare Center, PC, in Pella, Iowa, experienced optometrist Kevin Jones, OD, offers preventive care, early detection, and treatment that can help you keep your sight. Book an appointment online or by phone today.
Macular Degeneration Q & A
Age-related macular degeneration is an eye disease that happens when the photoreceptor cells in your macula, the part of your retina that manages central vision, start to deteriorate as you age. With age-related macular degeneration, your central vision becomes blurry, with the potential of complete vision loss.
The two types of age-related macular degeneration are:
Dry age-related macular degeneration accounts for 90% of all cases of the disease. It causes drusen, metabolic waste products, to accumulate in your macula. This gradually destroys the macular photoreceptor cells. Dry age-related macular degeneration can range from early-stage to advanced, at which point central vision is largely gone.
Wet age-related macular degeneration is advanced macular degeneration in which you have both cellular breakdown in the macula and new abnormal blood vessel development behind the macula. The new blood vessels leak into the macula and cause central vision loss, often quite suddenly.
Any stage of dry age-related macular degeneration can suddenly change to the wet form of the disease. But, having dry age-related macular degeneration doesn't necessarily mean that you'll develop the wet type.
In its most common form, age-related macular degeneration is often slow to develop. Eventually, symptoms can lead to:
- Colors looking faded
- Objects looking distorted
- Straight lines looking curved or crooked
- Shapes looking distorted
- An empty or dark spot in your central vision
If you have any of these symptoms, schedule an eye exam immediately.
Dr. Jones can detect signs of age-related macular degeneration during your comprehensive eye exam. After giving a dilated eye exam, viewing a magnified look of the back of your eye, and photographing the back of your eye (fundus photography), Dr. Jones can diagnose dry age-related macular degeneration.
If Dr. Jones suspects wet age-related macular degeneration, he might recommend advanced testing like fluorescein angiography, which uses an injected dye to highlight abnormal blood vessel growth.
Many leading researchers believe that high-dose supplements, including vitamin C, vitamin E, lutein, zeaxanthin, meso-zeaxanthin, and zinc, can slow the progression of dry age-related macular degeneration. Dr. Jones may also recommend dietary changes to help you get more of these important nutrients.
If diagnosed early enough, wet age-related macular degeneration is often treatable using intraocular injections or photodynamic laser therapy.
Use online booking or call Family EyeCare Center to get age-related macular degeneration help now.