At Gold Canyon Eye Center, located in Gold Canyon, Arizona, the team of experienced eye doctors can detect and monitor macular degeneration. If you’re concerned about macular degeneration or overdue for an eye exam, call the Gold Canyon Eye Center office or schedule an appointment using the online tool today.
Macular degeneration is a deterioration of your macula, located in the middle of your retina, the layer of light-sensing tissue at the back of your eye. Your macula is responsible for your central vision, allowing you to see the world in clear detail. For example, it helps you to recognize people’s faces and read their facial expressions.
Macular degeneration rarely results in complete blindness, but it can cause you to lose most or all of your central vision, leaving only your peripheral (side) vision, which is far less clear.
The telltale symptom of macular degeneration is blind spots. These are dark, blurry areas that look like someone took an eraser to your vision. Your vision may also become less sharp, while colors look less bright, intense, and vivid.
The two forms of macular degeneration are dry and wet:
Dry macular degeneration is the more common form of the disease, accounting for 85%-90% of all cases. It results from fatty deposits called drusen that form under your retina.
The dry form is less likely to cause permanent severe vision loss than the wet form. However, it can still cause blurry vision, blind spots, and occasionally a loss of central vision.
In some cases, the dry form turns into wet macular degeneration. Wet macular degeneration accounts for only 10%-15% of macular degeneration cases, but it’s far more likely to cause severe, irreversible vision loss. Also, the symptoms of the wet form appear much more quickly than the dry form.
Wet macular degeneration results from abnormal blood vessels that leak blood. If left untreated, the vessels form scars, eventually causing a permanent loss of central vision.
If you have dry macular degeneration, your optometrist at Gold Canyon Eye Center helps you adjust to changes in your vision and make lifestyle changes to preserve your eye health. A diet rich in antioxidants or regimen of high-dose supplements can help slow vision loss. Vision aids, such as magnifiers, reading aids, and bright lighting can help you to see better.
Wet macular degeneration requires urgent attention, and your eye doctor may refer you to a retinal specialist. Treatment for the wet form targets abnormal blood vessel growth and includes injectable medication and laser therapy. These treatments can help preserve your vision, and in some cases, even reverse vision loss.
Schedule an eye exam at Gold Canyon Eye Center online or by phone today if you’re concerned about macular degeneration.