If you’re suddenly noticing blurry vision, especially in the center of your sight, you may have macular degeneration. At Dr. K’s 20/20 Vision Center, Daniel Kosterman, OD can diagnose and treat macular degeneration to slow its progression. If you live in or near Eagle River, Alaska and want to learn more about this chronic condition, call Dr. K’s 20/20 Vision Center today, or go online to schedule your initial consultation.
Macular degeneration causes various symptoms, most of which appear gradually. Typically, symptoms occur in both eyes, but they can affect just one. The most common macular degeneration symptoms include:
Although most people with macular degeneration don’t go completely blind, they may struggle with activities like reading and driving.
Macular degeneration results when the macula, the part of your retina responsible for your central vision, thins. The causes of this degeneration are unknown, but there appear to be both environmental and hereditary factors.
As the eye ages, the macula thins as its cells deteriorate. Specific risk factors have been identified, including smoking and obesity. Those with cardiovascular disease or high blood pressure may also have an increased risk.
A special camera that takes a high-resolution retinal photograph can reveal early signs of macular degeneration. Dr. K may also provide visual field testing. A tool called an Amsler grid is also useful to check for visual disturbances.
Further testing may also be needed, such as optical coherence tomography, which creates an enlarged 3D image of your retina that will allow Dr. K to see damage or swelling.
Although there are no medical treatments for the beginning stages of macular degeneration, lifestyle changes can improve your outlook, and special vitamin supplements that target macular health may also help.
Additionally, Dr. K recommends eating a healthy diet, getting regular exercise, and quitting smoking. Protecting your eyes from UV light may also help. Although these lifestyle habits can’t reverse macula damage, they can slow the condition’s progression.
Depending on the type of macular degeneration you have, Dr. K may also recommend:
If you’re at risk for macular degeneration, or if you have any symptoms, call Dr. K’s office or go online to schedule your appointment.