Diagnosis, Management & Prevention of Macular Degeneration at Lone Star Vision
We get a lot of questions about age-related macular degeneration (often referred to simply as AMD) at our Celina and Plano TX optometry clinics. If you’ve even wondered about this condition, read on to find out about the FAQs and answers provided by our optometry staff.
What is macular degeneration (AMD)?
Macular degeneration, or AMD, is thinning of and progressive damage to the macula, which is located at the center of your retina. (Your retina is the thin tissue in the back of your eye responsible for collecting visual imagery prior to transmission to the brain via the optic nerve.) The macula is the spot primarily responsible for fine and keen vision, for tasks including reading, writing, using a cellphone, seeing peoples’ faces, etc.
AMD always affects both eyes but can progress at different rates in each eye. It’s actually the leading cause of vision loss among older adults.
I’ve heard there are 2 types of AMD: what are they?
You are correct. 2 types of AMD exist:
- Dry macular degeneration, also known as atrophic AMD, is caused by the presence of yellow or white deposits called drusen growing behind the macula
- Wet macular degeneration, also known as exudative AMD, is caused by an overgrowth of small leaking blood vessels behind the retina
The key signs and symptoms of both is a gradual loss of vision in the center of your line of sight.
What causes AMD? Is it preventable?
As the name implies, aging is the number one cause or risk factor of AMD. The exact underlying cause of dry or wet macular degeneration is unclear, although genetics probably play a part. White females and people with light eye color are thought to be at an increased risk.
While AMD isn’t 100% preventable, you can reduce your chances of developing it by avoiding known risk factors: smoking, being overweight or obese, having high blood pressure, or being overly exposed to sunlight.
How can a Celina or Plano eye doctor treat AMD, and what should I expect during treatment?
There are many clinical trials ongoing to study new treatments of AMD. The main focus of treatment is slowing the progression of the disease and compensating for associated vision loss.
Depending on whether you have dry or wet macular degeneration, our Celina and Plano eye doctor team may prescribe certain medications, nutritional supplements, or lifestyle recommendations. We may refer you to ophthalmology clinicians if surgery is indicated and can provide pre- and post-operative care. We can also prescribe vision correction eyewear or help you implement low vision strategies in order to minimize the impact of your vision loss.
Early detection is critical, so seeing your optometrist regularly for a comprehensive eye exam is essential. If you have any questions about our services, please contact us today at (972) 378-4104 (Plano) or (972) 382-2020 (Celina).