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What Most Don't Know About Macular Degeneration

What Most Don't Know About Macular Degeneration

Age-related macular degeneration, also called AMD, is an eye disease very common in adults over 50 and one of the leading causes of permanent vision loss or blindness in adults. Unfortunately, AMD has no cure, but if your eye specialist detects symptoms early, your chances of retaining your vision can dramatically improve.  

At Ventura Eye Institute in Camarillo, California, our professional team of eye care specialists provides regular, comprehensive eye exams to monitor your vision and eye health and can diagnose macular degeneration in the early stages.

Macular degeneration basics

Your eyes have multiple parts that work together to send images to your brain. Your retina sits in macular tissue and senses light as it enters your eye. If you start to experience macular degeneration, you will risk losing your center vision. You’ll still be able to see with your peripheral vision, but what is directly in front of you can be blurry and cloudy to the point of total center vision loss.

Types of AMD

There are two types of macular degeneration. Dry AMD, the most common type, is caused by deposits of drusen (pigment or debris) on the macula. Wet AMD is a rarer type and is caused by blood vessels underneath your macula that leak blood into the space around the retina. 

What you don’t know about macular degeneration 

While people may hear “macular degeneration” from their eye doctor, understanding what that means is different. Being educated about AMD can help you avoid serious vision loss. Here are just a few things you should know and do if you suspect you may have AMD. 

Risk factors for AMD

Since AMD stands for “age-related macular degeneration,” you need to be aware of how your vision may be changing as you age. All adults should have an eye disease screening every two years, and people over 50 should get checked for AMD every year. 

Additional risk factors for AMD include: 

Caucasians and other people with light eye color, such as blue, green, or gray, are also at risk.

Early detection and treatment

Most people are also unclear about the specifics of AMD diagnosis and treatment. Since AMD is chronic and worsens over time, it’s important that you get your diagnosis as soon as possible. From there, we’ll provide guidance so you can slow the progression of the disease and preserve your vision.  

We’ll start by accurately diagnosing which form of AMD you have, then recommend treatment accordingly. If you have dry AMD, medication may be the best form of treatment, and you shouldn’t need invasive procedures. If you have wet AMD, we may need to perform a minimally invasive procedure called photocoagulation, which can help seal off the blood vessels and prevent further leakage. 

Ready for your next eye exam? Call Ventura Eye Institute at 805-388-1211 to schedule an appointment, or visit the contact page for more options. 

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