Macular Degeneration Treatment from Your Michigan Ophthalmologist
The incidence of age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is increasing as baby boomers become seniors. Within this group, AMD is a leading cause of severe loss of vision. Our ophthalmologists at Eastside Eye Physicians PC note that Americans suffering from this disorder exceed 10 million. Scheduling regular vision exams at our St. Clair Shores or Shelby Township office is essential for AMD patients and high-risk individuals. Early diagnosis is important for optimal eye care.
Overview of AMD
Researchers have not detected specific factors responsible for AMD. They know that advancing age plus heredity and environmental factors play a role.
Healthcare professionals consider AMD an incurable disease. It develops due to changes in the macula, a small central section of the retina. The result is loss of central vision. There are two types: dry and wet AMD.
Every wet AMD case begins as the dry form. Not all individuals with dry AMD will progress to the wet form, however.
Macular cells in dry AMD patients can no longer get rid of ocular waste products. In wet AMD patients, unwanted extra blood vessels develop under the macula and destroy vision by attacking rods and cones. One of the difficulties of diagnosis is the subtlety of early symptoms. Often patients fail to notice anything amiss until the condition is advanced. Eye doctors report that once a patient has lost central vision, it is impossible to restore it.
Dry AMD symptoms progress gradually, usually in both eyes:
- Difficulty recognizing faces
- Increasing difficulty adjusting to a lower light level
- Growing print blurriness
- Reduced central vision
- Appearance of straight lines as bent
- Necessity of brighter light for close tasks
- Reduced color intensity or brightness
Typical wet AMD signs include:
- Distortion that makes straight lines appear bent
- Blurred or blind spot in the central visual field
- Reduced color brightness or intensity
- Decreased central vision
- Rapid occurrence or worsening of symptoms
Treatment Options from Our Eye Doctor
Although macular degeneration cannot be prevented or cured, our eye doctors note that dietary changes and specific nutritional supplements can slow dry AMD progression. Shedding excess weight and smoking cessation are also helpful.
Some wet AMD patients undergo eye injections. Others receive photodynamic therapy.
We monitor AMD patients carefully. We also recommend adaptive measures such as increased lighting.
Schedule an Exam with Our Ophthalmologist
Our ophthalmologists stress that regular exams represent the best step for an early macular degeneration diagnosis. Individuals visiting our Eastside Eye Physicians PC practice enjoy a combination of world-class technology and personalized care. Be sure to call today to schedule an exam at our St. Clair Shores office (586-774-2020) or our Shelby Township location (586-247-2020).