Macular Degeneration FAQs Answered by a Chino Hills and San Dimas, CA Optometrist
While with age comes wisdom, it also increases your risk of certain eye conditions like macular degeneration. Since it affects the macula, it can cause difficulty seeing as well as issues with your color vision. At Hofacre Advanced Comprehensive Family Eyecare, serving San Dimas, Chino Hills, and the surrounding California area, we diagnose, treat, and carefully monitor this condition, so you can maintain your vision as long as possible.
What Is Macular Degeneration?
Macular generation occurs when the macula in your retina becomes damaged over time. You may lose your central vision. As your retina deteriorates, you may not be able to see details both near and far away. Two types exist: dry and wet. With dry macular degeneration, your macula thins due to age. Additionally, small clumps of proteins develop. On the other hand, with wet macular degeneration, blood vessels develop underneath your retina. Sometimes, they leak blood or possibly other fluid, which scars the macula. The wet form is more serious and progresses more rapidly.
What Are the Symptoms of Macular Degeneration?
You may experience blurry or fuzzy vision. You could notice straight lines beginning to appear distorted or even wavy. When you're reading, you may see blurry spots in the print. Reading, in general, may become difficult, especially in low levels of light. Sometimes, you develop a severe sensitivity to glare.
How Does an Optometrist Diagnose Macular Degeneration?
Our optometrist will test both your far-away and up-close vision through visual acuity tests. Using a magnifying device, our optometrist will examine the inside of your eye, which allows an eye doctor to view your macula. We may perform optical coherence tomography testing to obtain a picture of your macula. It gives us a three-dimensional image of your retina. Other testing may be necessary, such as fluorescein.
If you're at risk for macular degeneration, we may send you home with an Amsler Grid, which looks like a standard grid. Since the macula has a sensitivity to lines, you may notice the grid has missing lines, or the lines may appear wavy or distorted. Sometimes, these changes in your vision occur before any issues with your visual acuity.
How Does an Optometrist Treat Macular Degeneration?
Currently, no treatments exist, but our optometrist can provide you with solutions to slow the progression and prevent further damage. We may be able to improve your current level of vision to an extent, as well. We may recommend either eye drops or injections. It's possible we'll refer you to a specialist who can provide you with therapy to optimize your vision.