Macular degeneration is an eye disease that causes loss of central vision.
It is the leading cause of vision loss for people aged 60 and above, which is why it is often referred to as age-related macular degeneration (AMD).
If you are concerned about how macular degeneration may affect your vision, consult with an experienced ophthalmologist at Advanced Ophthalmology Associates.
The symptoms of macula degeneration vary, depending upon which type is present. They may also vary from individual to individual.
Early AMD often has no symptoms, so incorporating a check for AMD in your eye exam will aid considerably in early detection and treatment.
Macular degeneration presents in two basic forms: wet macular degeneration and dry macular degeneration.
Wet macular degeneration is less common. This type causes vision loss much faster and is considered a late-stage type of macular degeneration. A person could start out having dry macular degeneration and then it can turn into wet macular degeneration at any point.
Dry macular degeneration has three stages: early, intermediate and late stage. Dry macular degeneration is progressive and can turn into wet macular degeneration if it is not diagnosed and treated in a timely manner.
Macular degeneration has been linked to a range of underlying causes, including:
The primary means by which AMD is diagnosed include a routine eye exam. Your ophthalmologist in Advanced Ophthalmology Associates dilates your pupils with medical eye drops. While the pupils are dilated, the ophthalmologist examines the macula, looking for telltale signs of small yellow deposits beneath the retina, called drusen.
Another diagnostic option for AMD is having the patient look at an Amsler grid, which is a pattern of lines that resemble the lines on a checkerboard. If some of the lines appear wavy, or if any are missing, this can indicate the presence of AMD.Because early-stage AMD has little to no outward symptoms, diagnosis by an ophthalmologist in Advanced Ophthalmology Associates is essential.