What increases my risk for macular degeneration?

istock 1030912610 1 1 Macular degeneration, known as “age-related macular degeneration” is a condition that impacts the central vision. It is an eye disease that causes the deterioration of the macula, which is the central-most portion of the retina that is located at the back of the eye. Patients with macular degeneration will notice changes to their centralized vision that can make it difficult to perform everyday tasks such as driving a car and reading a book. 

What are the symptoms of macular degeneration? 

Macular degeneration may present itself through the following symptoms: 

  • Missing areas of vision
  • Shadows in the central vision
  • Distorted or blurry vision
  • Decreased contrast

What types of macular degeneration can be found? 

There are two varieties of macular degeneration that may be diagnosed in a patient including dry macular degeneration and wet macular degeneration. The more common variety is the dry form, which is caused by cell breakdown in the macula. It causes a gradual reduction in vision, while wet macular degeneration can cause much more rapid degeneration and can result in permanent blind spots in one’s central vision. Both can be found during an eye examination with Dr. Stuart P. Sondheimer. 

How is macular degeneration treated? 

There is no way to correct the loss of vision or reverse the condition once it has begun. However, there are ways to slow down its progression with nutritional changes, eye injections, laser therapies, and close monitoring. Patients who have the condition may need vision aids to help them make the most of their current vision and maintain their quality of life. 

What are some risk factors for macular degeneration? 

Macular degeneration can happen to anyone, but there are some patients who might be at a higher risk of developing it in their future. Below are a few of the more common risk factors that are associated with patients who develop macular degeneration: 

  • Ethnicity
  • Family history
  • High cholesterol
  • Obesity
  • Hypertension
  • Excess sunlight exposure
  • Smoking
  • Older age

Do you suspect macular degeneration?

If you have concerns about your eye health and are located in the area of Skokie, IL, we encourage you to book an evaluation with Dr. Stuart P. Sondheimer and his team. The office is located at 9150 Crawford Avenue, Suite #201 and can be reached for an appointment by calling (847) 677-2794.

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