Understanding Macular Degeneration

Macular degeneration is a common age-related vision loss problem experienced by many seniors. In fact, the American Macular Degeneration Foundation, or the AMDF, reports that macular degeneration is the leading cause of vision loss, and that it affects more than 10 million Americans. By better understanding this condition, the patients who visit Dr. Stuart P. Sondheimer can become more knowledgeable about this and other vision concerns that may occur over the years.

Understanding macular degeneration

Dr. Stuart Sondheimer describes macular degeneration is an incurable eye disease. It affects more people than glaucoma and cataracts combined. This particular condition is due to deterioration of the central area of the retina, the inside of the back of the eye. This is the portion of the eye that records the images seen and sends them to the brain from the optic nerve. This area, which includes the macula, controls one’s ability to drive a car, read a book, recognize colors and faces, and see the objects around them in detail. However, when the macula is not working properly, it can affect one’s vision. The progression of the disease causes patients to experience blurred and wavy vision, and over time, can cause an individual to become legally blind.

Types of macular degeneration

There are two varieties of macular degeneration:

  • Dry – most cases of macular degeneration are dry, or “atrophic.” Loss of vision occurs but most patients with dry have good central vision but may experience functional limitations such as limited ability to read due to changes to the central vision or poor night vision due to reduced illumination. This type of degeneration is considered “dry” because it does not involve any leaking of serum or blood.
  • Wet – approximately 10-15% of macular degeneration cases are wet, or “exudative.” This type of degeneration involves abnormal blood vessels that can leak fluid and result in the macula bulging or lifting up from its typical flat position, resulting in distortion of the central vision. This type of vision loss is typically very rapid and severe.

Learn more about macular degeneration

Schedule your next eye examination with Dr. Stuart P. Sondheimer of Skoki, IL. Call (847) 677-2794 today and visit the practice at 9150 Crawford Avenue, Ste. 201. Our eye physician is a LASIK and Cataract Surgeon who is pleased to offer a wide range of vision services for patients in the community.

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