Macular degeneration is a common condition that we treat at Fishman & Sheridan eyeCare Specialists. Primarily an age-related condition, it can cause severe vision loss, especially among those over the age of 60. Macular degeneration occurs when the central portion of the retina, called the macula, deteriorates. This portion of the retina is responsible for fine, detailed vision. As the disease progresses, patients can progressively lose their sight, beginning with central vision. There are two macular degeneration types: wet and dry. At our Clermont practice, we provide comprehensive diagnosis and treatment for both types. Although there is no cure for macular degeneration, with early diagnosis and treatment, we can control symptoms and prevent further vision loss. To learn more about macular degeneration and to schedule your screening at one of our three area locations, call Fishman & Sheridan eyeCare Specialists today.
Dry Macular Degeneration
Dry macular degeneration is the most common form of the disease, affecting approximately 90% of all macular degenerative patients. It occurs when yellow deposits called drusen accumulate inside the macula. There are three stages of dry macular degeneration. During the first stage, patients may only have a few small drusen in the macula. However, during the third stage, they may have numerous large deposits. As the number of drusen increases, patients experience a breakdown of retinal cells, leading to blurred central vision that eventually spreads to affect the entire field of vision. Advanced dry macular degeneration can lead to wet macular degeneration, which is considered a more serious form of the disease.
Wet Macular Degeneration
Wet macular degeneration occurs when abnormal blood vessels begin to grow from the choroid, located between the retina and the outer coat of the eye. The blood vessels often leak blood into the eye, raising the macula and impeding the function of the retina. Patients may experience sudden loss of vision, beginning in the center, and they may also notice that straight lines begin to look wavy. Symptoms are not always immediately apparent.. Some patients do not notice immediate changes in their vision.
Often, your doctor can detect the early stages of dry macular degeneration with a simple eye exam. After dilating your eye, he can use an ophthalmoscope to examine the retina and check for the presence of drusen. He may also have you look at an Amsler grid, which is covered in a checkerboard pattern. If the lines appear wavy, this may be an indication that you suffer from wet macular degeneration. We also offer several other advanced diagnostic tests, including fluorescein angiography and optical coherence tomography, in which your doctor will take special photographs of your retina to look for the presence of abnormal blood vessels.
We offer several effective treatment options for both wet and dry macular degeneration. Although these methods cannot cure the condition, they can dramatically delay vision loss for years to come. We often recommend changes in diet and nutritional supplements to treat dry macular degeneration. There are also more aggressive options available to treat wet macular degeneration. With laser therapy and surgery, we can remove abnormal blood vessels that contribute to vision loss. We also offer injections, such as the advanced Avastin treatment that can prevent the growth of new abnormal blood vessels.
Schedule Your Screening
With early diagnosis, your doctor can determine the optimal treatment to protect your vision and enhance your quality of life for years to come. Schedule a consultation today.