Macular Degeneration

amdAge-related macular degeneration (AMD) is the leading cause of blindness in the US for people over the age of 50.  The macula is the small central portion of the retina where the light entering the eye comes to a focus.  It is the area of the retina with the highest concentration of light receptors which provides our central vision and our clear color vision as well.  When these light receptors are damaged, central vision is affected.  AMD falls into two categories, “wet” and “dry.”

In the more common “dry” form, the macula thins and stops functioning properly.  There is no cure for dry AMD, but there is thought to be a link between the progression of dry AMD and nutrition.  A low fat diet that contains dark green leafy vegetables in combination with nutritional supplements may be beneficial.

“Wet” AMD occurs when blood vessels grow beneath the macula and leak fluids that blur the central vision.  Vision loss may be sudden.  Specialized laser treatment may be helpful in controlling the leakage and the newest therapy is where a medication is injected into the eye to decrease the formation of these new vessels.

There are no cures for AMD, but these treatments are designed to slow the rate of central vision loss.  Symptoms of AMD may include a gradual or sudden decrease of central vision.  Objects may appear distorted and straight lines may appear wavy or crooked.  Color vision may be affected as well.

A comprehensive eye examination allows us to diagnose AMD or other conditions that can affect the quality of your vision.