what is Macular Degeneration?
The macula is the centermost part of the retina, and it controls our central vision. Our central vision helps us clearly and sharply see specific shapes, colors, and outlines. Every day, we use our central vision to perform specific tasks, including reading and driving. Unfortunately, as we start to age, the macula can start to weaken and deteriorate, particularly in adults 60 years and older. Macular degeneration has two types, dry and wet, and both are the main reason for vision loss in elderly men and women. Patients who have macular degeneration commonly have affected central vision but can use their peripheral vision to compensate for their progressive vision loss.
Currently, there is no cure for macular degeneration for either wet or dry, but with new innovative techniques and treatments, ophthalmologists can slow or stop this disease. At Ophthalmology Associates of the Valley in San Fernando Valley of Los Angeles, CA, our professional group of board-certified ophthalmologists is always knowledgeable about the latest research and technology for macular degeneration. If you have recently experienced any unusual changes in your eyesight, please call one of our offices in Encino or West Hills to schedule a consultation.
Macular Degeneration Reviews
what are the signs?
Dry and wet macular degeneration both happen as men and women start to age, but the symptoms can range for each person. Dry macular degeneration is typically the most common of the two types and progresses slower. Generally, patients with dry macular degeneration can keep some of their central and peripheral vision. Wet macular degeneration is the less common form, and the symptoms are faster and more severe. At Ophthalmology Associates of the Valley in both Encino and West Hills, our team is proud to offer advanced vision services that help treat dry and wet macular degeneration.
If you have dry macular degeneration, you may experience certain symptoms, including:
- Blurry or darkened vision, particularly when reading
- Blind spots
Patients with wet macular degeneration may have symptoms, such as:
- Blind spots
- Central vision deterioration
- Arched or contorted vision (like lines that appear rippled)
what Causes amd?
If you start to develop tiny clusters of proteins within the macula that obscure, obstruct, and warp vision, this is typically caused by dry macular degeneration. For patients with wet macular degeneration, abnormal veins start to develop just below the retina, which causes liquid or blood to drain into the eye. Unfortunately, doctors do not know the underlying reason for what causes wet or dry macular degeneration. However, certain factors may increase your chances of developing the disease, including:
- Genetic predisposition
- Skin type and eye color
- Gender (particularly females)
- High cholesterol or blood pressure
If you have dry macular degeneration, we provide AREDS or specialty vitamins that target vision loss caused by aging. ARED supplements have natural ingredients, such as zinc, lutein, and zeaxanthin, which slow the progression or stop the symptoms from becoming worse. Additionally, our ophthalmologists may recommend certain lifestyle changes to help manage the symptoms and to help you live more comfortably.
At Ophthalmology Associates of the Valley, we use anti-VEGF shots to stop or reduce the growth of irregular blood vessels that form with wet macular degeneration. EYLEA® and LUCENTIS® are injectables that are made with specific ingredients. If macular degeneration is detected soon enough, anti-VEGF shots are the preferred treatment choice. If your disease is more severe, our ophthalmologists may suggest laser surgery to cauterize the veins and stop further leakage of liquid or blood into the eye.
regain your quality of life
Our group knows that a macular degeneration diagnosis is stressful, or sometimes even scary, but please know that we strive to help you manage and feel knowledgeable about your treatment options. At Ophthalmology Associates of the Valley in San Fernando Valley of Los Angeles, CA, our board-certified ophthalmologists provide advanced treatment options that may improve your central vision and eye health. Please schedule an appointment at either of our offices in Encino or West Hills. Our goal is to help you live more comfortably.