Macular degeneration is a progressive disease that can rob a person of their vision. Without intervention, the damage gets worse over time, stealing a person’s central vision as the condition worsens.
Since macular degeneration is serious, knowing how to spot the symptoms is beneficial. That way, if you notice any of the associated changes, you can seek help immediately. Additionally, your eye doctor can provide you with treatment options designed to combat macular degeneration. Here’s what you need to know about the symptoms of macular degeneration and how your eye doctor can help.
Symptoms of Macular Degeneration
In most cases, the impact of macular degeneration is slow and painless. While the symptoms can vary from one person to the next, there are a few that are more common.
Having difficulty adapting to low light is a frequently observed symptom. It may manifest as needing brighter light to read or do close up work. Additionally, having trouble recognizing faces is a symptom of macular degeneration.
Haziness over a person’s central or overall vision is also characteristic of macular degeneration. Blurriness or a central vision blind spots are similarly symptoms, as well as straight lines appearing wavy.
In any case, symptoms may appear in one eye or both. It’s important to note that many people don’t notice the first signs of macular degeneration, especially if they only occur in one eye. When the condition isn’t in both eyes, the unaffected eye may work to compensate for the one with macular degeneration, effectively hiding the symptoms.
However, by maintaining your regular eye doctor appointments, your ophthalmologist or optometrist can look for early signs and perform diagnostic tests. That way, you are increasing the odds of the disease being detected early if you develop it.
Treatment Options for Macular Degeneration
There is no cure for macular degeneration, but treatments can potentially slow the progression of the disease and limit vision loss. Anti-angiogenic drugs – which are specific medications that are injected into the affected eye – can block the formation and leaking of abnormal blood vessels that are characteristic of wet macular degeneration. In some cases, laser surgery may be a viable option for treating abnormal blood vessels, as well.
For dry macular degeneration, there is no formal treatment. However, your eye doctor can recommend lifestyle changes, like certain vitamin supplements and healthy-habit formation, that may slow the condition, particularly if it is caught early.
Additionally, they may be able to assist you with low vision rehabilitation. Essentially, your eye doctor will help you find methods for adapting to your vision changes, helping to preserve your quality of life.
For those with severe dry macular degeneration, in rare cases, implanting a telescopic lens into one eye may be beneficial. It has a very narrow field of vision but may improve the quality of one’s eyesight. If you haven’t had your vision checked recently or are having macular degeneration symptoms, schedule an appointment at your nearest ECVA clinic today. Our skilled team works diligently to ensure your eye health, performing thorough exams to look for various conditions, correcting a range of vision acuity issues, and providing treatment options that are designed to meet the needs of our patients.
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If you have further questions or would like to schedule an appointment with one of the Ophthalmologists at Eye Care and Vision Associates please call 716.631-EYES (3937) or visit www.ecvaeyecare.com .