As we age, we need to take note of the changes to our eyes and our susceptibility to eye diseases. One such condition, macular degeneration, commonly referred to as AMD, affects the central portion of the retina called the macula. At North Bay Eye Associates, we provide quality eye care to Healdsburg, Petaluma, Sonoma, and Santa Rosa, and the surrounding communities. We have gathered a few of the questions that our optometrists run into regarding macular degeneration.
What Causes Macular Degeneration?
There isn't a specific reason that is known to cause AMD. However, the risks are elevated with certain factors, such as high blood pressure, smoking, and if you have a family history. Yellowish deposits, referred to as drusen, can form under the macula, which can slowly cause the macula to deteriorate. As a result, slow and steady vision loss may occur without proper treatment.
Are There Different Types of AMD?
Macular degeneration comes in two forms: dry and wet. The most common form is dry macular degeneration, which involves the slow deterioration of your macula. Early detection through a comprehensive eye exam is imperative to manage the condition. Wet macular degeneration is less common but much more dangerous. This critical situation occurs when the blood vessels leak blood and fluids into the macula. You should consider this as a medical emergency and get help immediately.
What Are the Symptoms of Macular Degeneration?
Your eyes undergo significant changes after the age of 40. It is important to consult with our eye doctors to determine how often you will need eye exams. Below are a few symptoms that may indicate the onset of AMD:
- Blurry spots in your central vision
- Wavelike appearance to lines that should be straight
- Difficulty recognizing familiar faces
- Colors appear less vibrant
Is There Treatment Available for AMD?
Unfortunately, there isn't a cure for macular degeneration, but treatments are available to effectively manage the disease. Some treatments that are often used include nutritional supplements, intraocular injections, surgery, and laser therapy. We will assess your situation and provide a customized treatment plan.
Can I Live a Normal Life with Macular Degeneration?
With close monitoring from our optometrists, we can help you live comfortably with macular degeneration. However, we emphasize taking preventative measures, such as eating a well-balanced diet, avoiding smoking, and not skipping an annual eye exam.
Make an Appointment at North Bay Associates
If you live in Healdsburg, Petaluma, Sonoma, or Santa Rosa, our optometrists are ready to provide quality eye care services. Contact our team at North Bay Eye Associates to schedule an appointment with one of our eye doctors. We can detect and treat a wide variety of eye conditions, including macular degeneration.