Everything You Need to Know About Macular Degeneration
Age-related macular degeneration isn’t always preventable, but certain techniques do work to aid in macular degeneration prevention. One of the major ways to reduce your chances of macular degeneration is to see an eye doctor in Newington regularly. Our optometrists in Newington and South Windsor have the potential to catch the problem early to reduce the prevalence of complications.
What is Macular Degeneration?
Macular degeneration is a disease that destroys the macula, which is the central portion of the retina. When the disease progresses, it impairs central vision. It very rarely causes complete blindness. Although most cases are age-related macular degeneration, it is possible for a person to develop it for other reason such as negative lifestyle habits like smoking and consuming a poor diet. Most people who develop macular degeneration develop it when they turn over the age of 60 years old. Genetics appears to play a role as well.
Types of Macular Degeneration
- Dry Macular Degeneration: Dry macular degeneration is most common in people over the age of 65. It’s caused by the thinning of the macula, which is the part of the eye responsible for your direct line of sight. A person with dry macular degeneration may have blurred or reduced central vision.
- Wet Macular Degeneration: Wet macular degeneration is an age-related retinal disease that causes blurred vision or blind spots in your field of vision. In most cases, it’s caused by an abnormal blood vessel that leaks blood or fluid into the macula. It is also possible that the vision problems you’re experiencing are from a macular hole, which an optometrist can diagnose and treat accordingly.
How is Macular Degeneration Treated?
Macular degeneration treatment is dependent upon whether the condition is wet macular degeneration or dry macular degeneration. The dry macular degeneration treatment isn’t possible until the disease progresses. In the early stages, the person might not be aware he or she even has macular degeneration since it won’t cause any symptoms. However, one of our eye doctors in South Windsor or Newington will be able to detect and monitor its progression. The eye doctor will request the patient undergoes a comprehensive dilated eye exam at least once per year. This can help to track the progression.
As the disease progresses into its intermediate and advanced stages, the person may require a high dosage of vitamins and minerals to slow the progression. The person may require injections of vascular endothelial growth factor to slow down the progression. Medications like bevacizumab may be given to block the growth signals that cause new blood vessels to develop. A laser therapy known as photodynamic therapy helps patient with wet macular degeneration by closing off the new blood vessels and slowing their growth. Laser surgery can get rid of the damaged part of the retina in order to prevent more severe vision loss.
Learn More About Macular Degeneration
To find out if you are at risk of developing macular degeneration, schedule an eye exam with the experienced optometry team at Aucello EyeCare Center. You can reach our South Windsor location at (860) 644-4362 or our Newington location at (860) 667-2020. We look forward to hearing from you!