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Macular Degeneration

Understanding Macular Degeneration

Macular degeneration is a condition that affects the retina, leading to issues like blurry vision, seeing straight lines as distorted, and colors appearing faded or darker. People with macular degeneration often experience significant central vision loss that impacts their ability to work or participate in activities. Our optometrist at Vision Source Castle Hills in San Antonio, TX, can catch macular degeneration and provide treatment to keep your vision from degenerating quickly. Read below to learn about macular degeneration and how we can help manage it.

Woman being tested for Macular Degeneration.

Causes of Macular Degeneration

Although the exact cause of macular degeneration is unknown, several factors contribute to the development of this condition. Some potential causes of macular degeneration include:

•             Age: People over 50 are more at risk of getting macular degeneration than younger people.

•             Smoking: The tar in cigarettes forms a layer of fatty deposits under the retina, causing the retina to become thinner and scarred.

•             High blood pressure: Hypertensive retinopathy is a condition where the blood vessels in the retina thicken and slow blood flow, leading to gradual vision loss, double vision, and headaches.

•             Poor diet: Eating foods rich in saturated fats can cause the accumulation of fats under the retina. This fat buildup pushes against the retina and causes it to weaken.

The Two Types of Macular Degeneration

Dry macular degeneration is the most common type of age-related macular degeneration. The deposits under the retina build up over time and gradually damage the macula. Central vision loss is gradual and often occurs in one eye at a time. Noticing these vision changes early on can be challenging due to the slow nature of the disease. Regular eye exams are vital for catching macular degeneration before it leads to significant central vision loss. Your optometrist can then manage the condition with nutritional supplements and specialized glasses.

Wet macular degeneration occurs rapidly and is the least common of the two forms of macular degeneration. This condition involves abnormal and leaky blood vessel growth under the macula, leading to rapid vision loss. Prompt treatment is crucial since you can experience significant vision loss shortly after wet macular degeneration develops. Treatment for wet macular degeneration includes anti-VEGF injections or laser therapy to destroy and block the growth of abnormal blood vessels.

Receive Timely Macular Degeneration Support at Vision Source Castle Hills

Although the dry form of macular degeneration has no cure, our optometrist at Vision Source Castle Hills in San Antonio, TX, can help manage this disease and slow its progression. Call us and schedule an appointment today at (210) 341-5774 to protect your eye and vision health with effective management.