Your Guide to Macular Degeneration
Macular degeneration is one of many eye conditions that can lead to vision difficulties – and it’s one of the most common in people over 60. Learn more about this condition and the treatment options with this guide from Dr. Osayi at F & M Family Eyecare in Riverdale.
What Is Macular Degeneration?
Macular degeneration is a disease that causes people to lose their central vision while the peripheral vision remains intact. Sufferers can’t typically see anything up close or far away, making it difficult to drive, read, and even see people right in front of them.
In most cases, macular degeneration occurs in people over 60 and is referred to as age-related macular degeneration. It can sometimes also occur in young adults and children and it’s referred to as juvenile macular degeneration or Stargardt.
Is It Preventable or Curable?
Unfortunately, there is no cure for macular degeneration. However, it can be slowed or prevented, depending on the cause. Many cases are believed to be caused by a mix of genetics and environmental factors. Others are related to age and certain habits, like eating a lot of saturated fat and smoking. Some cases are due to medical conditions, such as high blood pressure. By addressing these risk factors, the chances of developing or worsening macular degeneration can be prevented.
Do You Have Concerns about Macular Degeneration?
The most important thing to do – even if you haven’t noticed any signs – is to visit your optometrist regularly. Through health screenings and regular eye checkups, your optometrist can determine if you are at risk of developing macular degeneration. If you are, the optometrist can provide the necessary recommendations to address that risk.
If you’ve already started noticing the signs, it’s still essential to visit your optometrist. There are several tests used to diagnose macular degeneration, including:
- Pupil dilation for a close look at the retina
- Amsler grid to determine how you see specific objects in a pattern
- Visual acuity tests to measure your vision at multiple distances
- Fluorescein angiography to help locate any leaking blood vessels
If you’re diagnosed with macular degeneration, your eye doctor will develop a treatment plan that may include everything from low vision devices and vision therapy to injections to help address leaky blood vessels.
Visit Our Eye Doctor in Riverdale, GA
If you have noticed changes in your central vision or have family members with macular degeneration, it’s important to visit Dr. Osayi at F & M Family Eyecare as soon as possible. Call our team today at (770) 996-3495 or reach us through our website by using our online contact form.