Macular degeneration is a debilitating eye disease that can rob you of your sight. It is the leading cause of blindness in the United States and Canada. Although there is no cure for macular degeneration, our team at Wilkins' Opticians in Spartanburg offers the testing and care you need to manage this condition to preserve your vision. This article will discuss macular degeneration, its symptoms, and how it is treated.
Symptoms of Macular Degeneration
The most common symptom of macular degeneration is the appearance of dark or blank spots in your central vision. These spots are called scotomas. Scotomas can make it difficult to see fine details and colors. Other symptoms of macular degeneration include:
- Difficulty reading
- Difficulty recognizing faces
- Impaired color vision
- Reduced central vision
Cause of Macular Degeneration
Macular degeneration is caused by the deterioration of the macula, which is the part of the eye responsible for central vision. Genetic and environmental factors cause macular degeneration.
Risk Factors for Macular Degeneration
There are several risk factors for macular degeneration, including:
Macular degeneration is most common in people over the age of 60.
If you have a family member with macular degeneration, you are more likely to develop the condition.
Macular degeneration is more common in Caucasians than in other racial groups.
Smokers are at a higher risk for developing macular degeneration due to the damage smoking does to the blood vessels in the eye.
People who are obese or have diabetes are at a higher risk of developing macular degeneration.
How is Macular Degeneration Diagnosed?
Our eye doctor can diagnose macular degeneration during a comprehensive eye exam. During the exam, we will dilate your pupils and examine your retina for signs of damage. Our optometrist may also use special tests to check for vision loss, such as an Amsler grid.
If you have macular degeneration, our doctor will classify it as either "dry" or "wet." Dry macular degeneration is the most common type and is caused by the deterioration of the macula. Wet macular degeneration is less common but is more serious. It is caused by the growth of abnormal blood vessels behind the retina.
Treatment of Macular Degeneration
Treatment options for macular degeneration include:
- Vitamin and mineral supplements
- Anti-angiogenic drugs
- Laser surgery
- Photodynamic therapy
Visit Our Optometry Team for Quality Eye Care
If you have macular degeneration or are at risk of developing the condition, it is important to have regular comprehensive eye exams. At Wilkins' Opticians in Spartanburg, SC, our optometrist can monitor your condition and recommend the best treatment. Call us today at (864) 585-2249 to book an appointment.