Here at Eye Center of North Florida, our team of doctors can treat many eye diseases and conditions, including macular degeneration. We provide patients with the latest treatments and procedures available.
What is Age-Related Macular Degeneration?
Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is an eye condition that affects the macula, which is the central part of the retina. The macula allows you to see sharply and with detail, including seeing objects and recognizing the faces of friends or family.
Depending on the patient, age-related macular degeneration can take a long time to develop and may occur in one or both eyes.
Signs of Macular Degeneration
Because age-related macular degeneration can take a long time to develop, you may not immediately recognize its signs. Some symptoms may include the following:
- Blurry vision in the center of your vision
- Finding it more challenging to see fine details
- Decreased visual clarity
- Noticing that straight lines now appear crooked or wavy
If you notice any of these signs, see your eye doctor immediately. They can confirm if you have age-related macular degeneration or something else. They can determine the appropriate next steps if you have age-related macular degeneration.
Wet Macular Degeneration
Wet macular degeneration is the least common form of macular degeneration. It occurs when abnormal blood vessels begin growing in the macula.
The macula is part of the retina at the back of the eye. It’s responsible for the central vision and allows you to see small details, like the faces of people around you.
During wet macular degeneration, abnormal blood vessels start leaking blood or fluids in the macula, which scars it and leads to a rapid loss of central vision. If you have wet macular degeneration, it can come on quickly, especially compared to the swiftness of symptoms with dry macular degeneration.
Dry Macular Degeneration
Dry macular degeneration is the most common form of macular degeneration. About 80% of patients with this eye condition have the dry form.
Dry macular degeneration occurs when the macula starts becoming thinner due to aging. When this happens, it leads to the buildup of deposits called drusen.
Drusen are small, yellow deposits found on the macula and gradually cause vision loss over time. Dry macular degeneration is among the most common reasons older adults lose vision.
Seeing faces, reading a book, or driving a car can become more challenging when you have dry macular degeneration. Although there is no cure for dry macular degeneration, there are ways to slow its progression and manage symptoms.
Using an Amsler Grid for Awareness
Awareness is vital to defend against macular degeneration. Using an Amsler Grid is an easy way to monitor your vision.
One of the first signs of macular degeneration is usually seeing straight lines as wavy or broken. Using an Amsler grid, you can tell if any lines look blurry, wavy, or missing.
To use the graph, follow these instructions:
- If you usually wear reading glasses, wear them and sit about 14 inches away from the screen
- Keep your focus on the dark spot at the center of the grid
- While you’re looking at the dot, continue to be aware of the lines on the grid
- If you notice that any of the lines on the grid seem wavy, blurry, or look to be missing, let your ophthalmologist know as soon as possible
Seeing any of these signs may signify macular degeneration, meaning you should see your eye doctor for an eye exam to check your eyes.
Do you think you may have macular degeneration? Schedule an appointment today at Eye Center of North Florida in Panama City, FL, now!