macular degeneration wilmington nc

How We Diagnose and Treat Macular Degeneration

Macular degeneration in Wilmington NC is a potentially serious eye disease that affects people as they age. Although macular degeneration typically doesn’t cause complete vision loss, you may lose some or all of your central vision. While there is no cure for this age-related eye condition, you can receive effective treatments for it.

Wet Macular Degeneration

With this type, the blood vessels in your macula and retina leak fluid and blood, and your eyes take on a bulging appearance. Wet macular degeneration affects only 10 percent of people diagnosed with the disease. However, this type is the more severe of the two because it can cause complete loss of central vision when left untreated. We urge you to schedule an exam at Paul Vision Institute right away if you notice dark spots in the center of your visual field.

Dry Macular Degeneration

The dry type of macular degeneration causes a buildup of yellow protein deposits in your macula called drusen. The drusen causes your eyes to feel very dry while thinning your macula at the same time. Loss of central vision occurs slowly over time. Some people with the dry type of macular degeneration develop the wet type after several years.

Diagnosis and Treatment of Macular Degeneration

We start the eye exam by dilating your eyes to check for signs of the disease. Your optometrist may also use one or more advanced tests to confirm or rule out the diagnosis. Once we know which type you have, the next step is to start using prescription medication. Nutritional supplements and lifestyle changes are also useful, as is photocoagulation if you have leaking blood vessels. We may also recommend specific low vision tools to increase your quality of life.

Your vision is too important to ignore. Please contact us to screen for macular degeneration in Wilmington NC if you have any concerns.

What is Macular Degeneration?  

One of the leading causes of vision loss around the world is macular degeneration. Approximately 11 million Americans today suffer from macular degeneration, but by 2050, that figure is anticipated to rise to more than 22 million. Macular degeneration, also known as age-related macular degeneration (AMD), is the most common cause of visual loss in persons 60 years of age and older. See your ophthalmologist in Wilmington, NC to be screened for macular degeneration.

What is the Macula?

Macular degeneration refers to the degeneration of a part of the eye called the macula. The macula cannot be seen from the outside. It’s located at the back of the eye and is regarded as a component of the retina. The macula’s primary role is central vision. It is also responsible for most of our ability to detect color.

Risk Factors For Macular Degeneration

There are risk factors that make macular degeneration more likely. These are:

  • General Poor Health
  • Being Overweight
  • Smoking
  • Genetic History of Macular Degeneration
  • Alcohol Abuse

Different Types of Macular Degeneration

Wet macular degeneration and dry macular degeneration are the two primary manifestations of macular degeneration.

Wet macular degeneration is often considered to be the late stage of dry macular degeneration. At this late stage, the progressive loss of vision is significantly accelerated.

There are three stages of dry macular degeneration: early, middle, and late. If dry macular degeneration is not identified and treated right away, it might progress and become wet macular degeneration.

Diagnosing Macular Degeneration

An ordinary eye exam is one of the main methods for diagnosing AMD. With the aid of prescription eye drops, your eye doctor will enlarge the pupils. This enables a better field of vision inside the eye. Your eye doctor will look for telltale symptoms of tiny, yellow deposits beneath the retina known as drusen as well as other signs of macular degeneration.

Your eye doctor has several other tools and tests available to determine the level of macular degeneration, as well.

Macular degeneration steals vision. The earlier it is diagnosed, the better the outcome. If you are experiencing signs of vision loss, or are concerned about the possibility of macular degeneration in Wilmington, NC, contact Paul Vision Institute.