What is Macular Degeneration?
Macular degeneration is a progressive eye disease where vision loss occurs due to the deterioration of the macula, which is the central area of the retina. This disease causes central vision loss and is one of the leading causes of vision loss in America. Central vision loss can make everyday tasks, like reading, driving, deciphering colors, and recognizing faces, difficult. At Clewner & Kelly Eye Center, our experienced team uses advanced vision technology to diagnose and help manage macular degeneration. If you have been exhibiting symptoms of central vision loss, contact our center in Boca Raton, FL to consult with a vision expert today.
Diagnosis and Treatment of Macular Degeneration
The exact cause of macular degeneration is unknown, though the majority of cases are age-related and smoking can double your risk for developing the disease. There are two major types of macular degeneration:
- Wet Macular Degeneration: Abnormal blood vessels leak fluid or blood within the central portion of the retina. Only about 10% of macular degeneration cases are the wet form, but as vision loss can progress quite rapidly in this form, it is important to seek treatment as soon as symptoms begin to present.
- Dry Macular Degeneration: Dry form macular degeneration occurs when yellow deposits known as drusen build up in the macula. The dry form is usually slow to progress and can take many years to develop.
There are two major tests for macular degeneration that your eye doctor will perform to determine if you have the disease. Fluorescein angiography is where a special dye is injected into the bloodstream to highlight the blood vessels in the back of the eye, and optical coherence tomography (OCT) is where advanced images are taken of the back of the eye.
While there is no treatment or cure for dry macular degeneration, age-related eye vitamins may prove useful for some subgroups. The progression of wet macular degeneration can be slowed with anti-VEGF medications, and injections, such as Avastin®, Lucentis®, and EYLEA®, can chemically shrink the abnormal blood vessels to help improve central vision.
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Seek Help for Vision Loss
If you or someone you love is experiencing vision loss, it is important to seek professional help as soon as possible. While a diagnosis of macular degeneration may sound alarming, the experienced staff at Clewner & Kelly Eye Center is here to offer help in managing the condition. Contact our friendly staff at our center in Boca Raton, FL to schedule your comprehensive eye exam.