How Can an Eye Doctor Help with Macular Degeneration?
Roughly 12 million people above age 40 in the United States have vision impairments. Among the most prevalent of these vision issues is macular degeneration. What is macular degeneration? This is typically an age-related vision complication that manifests over time as the loss of the central field of vision. This vision condition can result in severe permanent vision loss if left untreated. Age-related macular degeneration often affects people over 60 years old. This is why it’s critical for people over 60 years old to regularly visit an eye doctor (ophthalmologist) for early diagnosis and treatment of vision complications. Springfield Opticians offers outstanding senior eye care in Springfield, Chadds Ford, and Holmes, PA.
Causes and Symptoms of Macular Degeneration
Age-related macular degeneration usually occurs as a result of the wearing down of the small central part of the retina, identified as the macula. The emergence of macular degeneration has something to do with genes. You are more likely to develop this vision complication if someone in your family has it. Other factors that amplify the chances of developing macular degeneration include:
• High blood pressure relating to high cholesterol
• Consuming lots of saturated fats
• Being female
• Being light-skinned.
Symptoms of age-related macular degeneration include:
• Blurry vision that makes it hard to read fine print or road signs while driving
• Dark or blurry spots in your center vision
• In some instances, altered color perception
Diagnosis and Treatment by an Eye Doctor
The ophthalmologist will examine you for macular degeneration during your routine eye checkup if you have dilated eyes. They will assess your retina for drusen (tiny yellow deposits), which is a common early symptom of this vision complication. Treatments for this age-related vision complication include:
• Diet Changes: The ophthalmologist may recommend you eat eye-friendly foods such as dark leafy greens, fish, vegetables, and yellow fruits.
• Supplements: A study by the National Eye Institute showed that a combination of certain nutrients and vitamins can protect the eyes in people with intermediate or late-stage age-related macular degeneration. The ophthalmologist can prescribe nutrient and vitamin supplements with vitamin C, copper, vitamin E, zinc, zeaxanthin, and lutein to help with your macular degeneration.
• Photodynamic laser therapy: The eye doctor can inject verteporfin (a light-sensitive drug) into your bloodstream to be absorbed by the abnormal blood vessels. They will then use a laser to damage the abnormal blood vessels, relieving macular degeneration.
Need Senior Eye Care in Pennsylvania?
Our eye doctors at Springfield Opticians, serving Springfield, Chadds Ford, and Holmes, provide class-leading senior eye care, including macular degeneration treatment. We have some of the most competent ophthalmologists in the state ready to care for you. Contact us today for more insights into macular degeneration and other eye and vision complications.