The symptoms of macula degeneration vary, depending upon which type is present. They may also vary from individual to individual.
Straight lines appear distorted
Blind spot in the center of vision
Reduction in central vision
Early AMD often has no symptoms, so incorporating a check for AMD in your eye exam will aid considerably in early detection and treatment.
Types Of Macular Degeneration
Macular degeneration presents in two basic forms: wet macular degeneration and dry macular degeneration.
Wet Macular Degeneration
Wet macular degeneration is less common. This type causes vision loss much faster and is considered a late-stage type of macular degeneration. A person could start out having dry macular degeneration and then it can turn into wet macular degeneration at any point.
Dry Macular Degeneration
Dry macular degeneration has three stages: early, intermediate and late stage. Dry macular degeneration is progressive and can turn into wet macular degeneration if it is not diagnosed and treated in a timely manner.
What Causes Macular Degeneration?
Macular degeneration has been linked to a range of underlying causes, including:
Chronic lack of vitamins and nutrients
History of alcohol abuse
History of exposure to nicotine in its various forms
How Is Macular Degeneration Diagnosed?
The primary means by which AMD is diagnosed include a routine eye exam. Your ophthalmologist in Kellis Eye & Laser Center dilates your pupils with medical eye drops. While the pupils are dilated, the ophthalmologist examines the macula, looking for telltale signs of small yellow deposits beneath the retina, called drusen.
Another diagnostic option for AMD is having the patient look at an Amsler grid, which is a pattern of lines that resemble the lines on a checkerboard. If some of the lines appear wavy, or if any are missing, this can indicate the presence of AMD.
Treatments for AMD
While there is no cure for macular degeneration, there are treatment options available to help patients manage their condition and help preserve their vision. Treatment options for AMD depend on how severe it is and the type of condition they have, as well as if they have had any vision loss.
the treatment for early dry AMD is typically monitoring its progression along with nutritional therapy and a healthy diet rich in antioxidants. For Dry AMD that might be further advanced, your physician may also recommend vitamins and supplements. Click here to learn about our vitamins.
The most common treatment for Wet AMD is anti-VEGF therapy which is done through periodic injections into the eye. The anti-VEGF chemical stops the formation of new blood vessels behind the retina in order to keep the retina free of leakage. The procedure is performed in the clinic and is usually not painful because the eye is anesthetized prior to the shot.
Because early-stage AMD has little to no outward symptoms, diagnosis by an ophthalmologist in Kellis Eye & Laser Center is essential.