Macular degeneration is a serious condition that needs to be caught in the earliest stages to reduce the severity of damage it can cause. Many patients who have been diagnosed will ask about the most effective treatment options. Let’s talk about macular degeneration to fully understand the complications associated with this eye disease.
What is macular degeneration?
Dr. Stuart P. Sondheimer of Skokie, IL, describes macular degeneration as a painless, progressive eye disease that attacks the macula – the central part of the retina responsible for clear, sharp central vision. Macular degeneration affects the ability to see fine details and can make everyday activities such as reading, driving, or recognizing faces difficult.
What are the symptoms of macular degeneration?
The symptoms of macular degeneration can vary depending on the stage of the disease. As the disease progresses, you may notice:
- Blurry vision
- Difficulty seeing fine details
- A dark or an empty spot in the central area of your vision
- Distorted vision (where straight lines may appear wavy)
- A decrease in color vision
- Difficulty adapting to low light conditions
How is macular degeneration treated?
There is no cure for macular degeneration. However, treatment can help with slowing the progression of the disease and maintaining your vision.
The most common treatment for macular degeneration is called “vitrectomy”. This involves surgically removing the damaged tissue from the eye. Surgery can be effective in slowing the progression of the disease.
Other treatments for macular degeneration include:
- Anti-VEGF therapy: This involves injecting a medication into the eye that blocks the growth of new blood vessels.
- Laser surgery: This can be used to destroy abnormal blood vessels or to seal leaks in existing blood vessels.
- Photodynamic therapy: This involves using a light-activated medication to destroy abnormal blood vessels.
- Nutritional supplements: Taking specific vitamins and minerals (such as zinc, copper, and vitamins C and E) has been shown to reduce the progression of macular degeneration.
How important is it to visit an eye doctor for macular degeneration at any stage?
If you have been diagnosed with a condition like macular degeneration, it is vital that you see an eye doctor regularly so that the disease can be monitored and treated if necessary. Early detection and treatment of macular degeneration can help to preserve your vision and reduce the need for further and more invasive therapies.
How do I get a diagnosis of macular degeneration?
If you suspect that you are experiencing the symptoms of macular degeneration and want to speak to Dr. Stuart P. Sondheimer of Skoki, IL, about getting a proper diagnosis, call 847-677-2794 to request an appointment. Our providers are available to help you with your vision and eye health needs!