Macular Degeneration is a progressive eye disease that causes vision loss in the macula, the center of your field of vision. The macula helps you see fine detail in things you try to focus on such as reading, driving and recognizing faces but enough peripheral vision remains to allow other activities to continue. Macular Degeneration is a major cause of visual impairment in older adults (50+), usually referred to as age-related macular degeneration (ARMD). In rare cases it can occur in younger patients called macular dystrophy. It can occur in “dry” and “wet” forms. If you have concerns about Macular Degeneration contact any of our Retina Centers in Stockton, Tracy or Lodi.
Wet Age-Related Macular Degeneration (Wet ARMD)
Wet ARMD is the most advanced stage. It can develop from dry ARMD within weeks or months. Wet ARMD causes vision loss due to abnormal blood vessel growth, which are fragile and lead to bleeding and leakage below the macula. There is however, treatment for this. You may have one or more of the following treatments: photodynamic therapy, injections of medications into your eye, or laser surgery. Consult your ophthalmologist at Delta Eye Medical Group to find the appropriate course of treatment for your specific needs.
Dry Age-Related Macular Degeneration (Dry ARMD)
Dry ARMD is by far the most common type. It develops slowly causing central vision to become dimmer and more blurry over time. Dry ARMD is caused by a buildup of yellow deposits in the macula, blurring vision. It usually does not cause severe vision loss unless it turns into the wet form. Currently there is no treatment of dry ARMD.
Suggestions that may help protect vision and improve overall health, and may lower the risk of developing age-related Macular Degeneration are:
1. Maintain a healthy weight.
2. Eat a nutritious diet that includes green leafy vegetables, yellow and orange fruit, fish and whole grain.
3. Do not smoke.
4. Maintain normal blood pressure and control medical conditions.
5. Exercise regularly.
6. Wear sunglasses and hats outdoors.
7. Get regular eye exams , and consult your doctor if you notice vision changes.