Around 11 million Americans have some type of macular degeneration, an age-related eye disease that leads to central vision loss and blindness. Leslie Weil, MD, a board-certified ophthalmologist, offers expert diagnosis and treatment for macular degeneration at Weil Eye Care Medical Center in San Carlos, California. If you’re concerned about macular degeneration or need a comprehensive eye exam, call Weil Eye Care Medical Center or make an appointment online today.
Your macula is the part of your retina that provides your central vision. Macular degeneration is typically an age-related disease. There are two main types of macular degeneration: dry and wet.
Around 80% of macular degeneration diagnoses are dry macular degeneration. The condition develops as your macula becomes thinner and drier and drusen — small clumps of protein — form.
Wet macular degeneration is rarer but also more serious. Wet macular degeneration occurs when abnormal blood vessels form in your retina and leak fluid and blood into your macula, causing scarring. It causes more rapid vision loss than dry macular degeneration.
Macular degeneration doesn’t always cause noticeable symptoms. However, you might start to notice that it’s harder to see fine details, or your vision may become blurry.
While your risk of macular degeneration increases with age, other factors that influence your chances of developing the disease include:
Many of these factors are under your control, and you can take steps now to protect your vision. For example, if you smoke, you should give up the habit. Also, cutting out high-fat foods and replacing them with dark, leafy green vegetables such as collard greens, kale, and spinach, which can improve your eye health.
Dr. Weil looks for signs of macular degeneration during comprehensive eye exams. When indicated she uses retinal scans and imaging to evaluate your macula. She might also use an Amsler grid — a grid with a dark dot in the center — to assess your central vision.
Dr. Weil may also use advanced tests such as optical coherence tomography to study your retina in detail.
There’s no cure for dry macular degeneration, but Dr. Weil offers treatments and advice to help you delay the progression of the disease to preserve your eyesight.
For example, taking vitamins and supplements like zinc, copper, lutein, zeaxanthin, and vitamins C and E might slow the progress of the disease. Vitamin A may be advised in those people who do not have a history of smoking. She can also recommend low vision aids and rehabilitation.
However, if you have wet macular degeneration, Dr. Weil will refer you to a retina subspecialist for further evaluation and treatment with anti-VEGF (Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor) medication to stop the growth of abnormal blood vessels in your retina.
Call Weil Eye Care Medical Center or make an appointment online today for expert diagnosis and treatment for macular degeneration.