Did you know that macular degeneration is one of the leading causes of vision loss if you are 60 years or older? In severe cases, it can even cause blindness. This condition is also referred to as age-related macular degeneration or AMD. Dr. Trevino at Vision Source Castle Hills in San Antonio has gathered a few questions that we run into from our patients regarding AMD.
What Is Macular Degeneration?
Macular degeneration occurs when the central portion of the retina, called the macula, begins to deteriorate. It is important to realize that there are often no early warning signs of this condition. This is why annual eye exams with an optometrist are imperative, especially for older adults.
What Individuals Are at Risk For AMD?
Macular degeneration can occur in any individual, however, typically the condition affects older adults. The following groups of people are also more susceptible:
- Those with a family history of the condition
- If you are a smoker
- People who have other health conditions, such as high blood pressure or diabetes
Are There Symptoms of Macular Degeneration?
AMD is a progressive disease, meaning it can worsen over time. The following symptoms are common as the condition develops further:
- Straight lines have a wavelike appearance
- Colors are not as vibrant as they once were
- Increased difficulty recognizing familiar faces
- Fine print appears blurry
How Does An Eye Doctor Diagnose Macular Degeneration?
Only a comprehensive eye exam from an optometrist can accurately diagnose AMD. With dilation, the back structures of the eye can be examined in detail. Small, yellowish deposits, called drusen, can often be an indication of AMD, or it means you will have an increased risk of developing the condition.
Can I Prevent Macular Degeneration?
AMD is not completely preventable, but you can make significant lifestyle changes to reduce your risk of developing it. These habits include eating a balanced diet with dark greens and omega fatty acids, exercising regularly, and quit smoking. Furthermore, it is essential to monitor your blood pressure levels regularly with your family physician.
How Is Macular Degeneration Treated?
While there is no cure for macular degeneration, it can be managed effectively with an early diagnosis. Some common treatments include medications, laser therapy, and special lenses. Dr. Trevino will assess your situation and provide a treatment plan to give you the best quality of life.
Contact Our Optometrist in San Antonio, TX
Many of the most severe eye diseases do not have noticeable symptoms, which is why our team at Vision Source Castle Hills highly recommends routine eye exams. Call our team today at (210) 344-1400 or reach us through our website by using our online contact form.