Macular Degeneration Q & A
What is macular degeneration?
Macular degeneration is a leading cause for vision loss in people age 50 and older. Age-related macular degeneration occurs when a part of your retina, called the macula, is damaged. Over time, you lose your vision and can’t see fine details, even when you look closely.
Macular degeneration comes in two forms: wet and dry. Most people have the dry form, which causes you to slowly lose your central vision. The wet version is more serious. It happens when abnormal blood vessels grow and scar your macula, causing what you see to look very blurry.
What are the symptoms of macular degeneration?
The signs of macular degeneration frequently don’t appear until the condition has progressed enough to affect your eyesight. Typical symptoms include:
- Blurry or fuzzy vision
- Straight lines look wavy
- Objects you see seem smaller than they actually are
- Dark, empty, or gray areas appear in your vision
Another sign of macular degeneration is when colors sometimes look more pale than usual.
How is macular degeneration diagnosed?
Your optometrist at Dr. Richlin, OD & Associates performs a complete eye examination, using the most advanced technology to assess your eye health and catch the condition before it progresses any further.
Some of the diagnostic devices your optometrist may use include:
- Digital retinal photography – Detects diseases in the sensitive tissue in your eye
- Retinal scanner – Creates high-resolution three-dimensional images to show damage on your macula
- Digital slit lamp imaging – Captures high-quality images of your eye
You may also need a fluorescein angiography. In this test, yellow dye is injected into a vein, then a special camera takes photos of your retina as the dye travels through the blood vessels in your retina.
How is macular degeneration treated?
Although there’s no treatment for dry macular degeneration, you may be able to keep it at bay with vitamin C, vitamin E, lutein, zeaxanthin, zinc, and copper. Talk to your optometrist at Dr. Richlin, OD & Associates before taking supplements.
For wet macular degeneration, medications can curtail the growth of abnormal blood vessels on your retina and prevent leaks that harm your vision. Laser light surgery may also reduce the number of blood vessels and stop leaks.
If you’ve noticed your vision is blurry, call the Beverly Hills, California, office of Dr. Richlin, OD & Associates, or request an appointment
Optovue AngioVue as the latest technology to diagnose:
AngioVueHD produces high-density scans with 73% more sampling points* to give you a 6x6mm scan with outstanding resolution. Now you can confidently evaluate fine vessels extending beyond the central 3x3mm region of the macula. Automatic montage (shown at right) expands the field of view even further by instantly combining macula and optic disc images for a 10x6mm widefield view.