The delicate structures of the human eye are capable of amazing things, but they're also vulnerable to conditions that rob them of those capabilities. Macular degeneration is a prime example, yet many people don't have a clear idea of what this disease is or what kind of threat it poses to eyesight. If you're worried about this particular condition, here are the answers to some frequently asked questions here at Urban Optics in College Station, TX.
Macular degeneration (AMD) is a progressive, irreversible condition that robs you of your ability to use the central part of your vision. It does this by damaging a specific part of the retina known as the macula.
The two main kinds of macular degeneration are non-proliferative ("dry") macular degeneration and neovascular ("wet") macular degeneration. In the more common dry variety, particles called drusen become evident on the macula. Dry AMD may present no symptoms. In the less common wet variety, abnormal blood vessels form and spread through the inside of the eye, breaking and leaking blood in the process. At this stage, you may notice straight lines appear wavy or distorted. Eventually, you may experience spots or bank zones in your central visual field. Peripheral vision usually remains intact.
AMD can occur in anyone after the age of 50, but certain lifestyle factors can make its onset more likely. These possible causes include smoking, poor diet, UV exposure, and exposure to the blue HEV (high-energy velocity) light emitted by LED screens. While minimizing these risk factors may help prevent AMD, you still need regular eye exams to check for the condition.
Dry macular degeneration is treated through lifestyle practices such as smoking cessation, dietary changes, and the use of UV-blocking eyewear. (Lenses that block blue light may also be recommended.) If you have wet AMD, you may receive nutritional supplements to help keep the condition from advancing. If you have abnormal blood vessels, we may need to numb your eye and administer injections that can stop those blood vessels from growing. In severe cases, we may refer you for laser surgery.
The most important thing you can do to protect yourself against macular degeneration is to get make regular eye exam schedule. CallUrban Optics at (979) 401-0800 to schedule an exam and let us provide your macular degeneration answers!