Aging causes changes in every part of your body, including your eyes. Although adjusting to some of these changes is no more difficult than tweaking your eyeglass prescription, others can affect y ...View Article
You are using an outdated browser. Please upgrade your browser to improve your experience.
The eyes are among the most complex organs in your body. It’s important to take the onset of eye disease seriously if you want to preserve your vision for years to come. That’s why you should schedule annual eye exams at Eyecare Specialties – especially as you get older and eye diseases become more likely – so our optometrist can catch macular degeneration and other eye diseases early. Prompt diagnosis allows you to begin macular degeneration treatment right away for the best possible results.
An age-related eye disease, macular degeneration damages the macula, a portion of your retina vital for visual acuity. You may suspect you’re developing macular degeneration if black spots start to appear in your central vision, making it difficult to read, drive and recognize faces. In 2010, more than 2 million Americans were diagnosed with age-related macular degeneration, making it the leading cause of vision loss in older adults.
In addition to age, other factors that increase your risk for macular degeneration include:
Smoking: People who smoke double their chances of developing macular degeneration.
Heredity: It’s possible to inherit a higher probability of developing macular degeneration from your parents.
Obesity and high blood pressure: Unhealthy, overweight people with macular degeneration are more than twice as likely to develop more advanced forms of the disease as time goes by. Eating right and exercising at least three times a week reduces your chance of developing advanced macular degeneration.
Fair complexion: No conclusive evidence has revealed why there’s a connection between complexion and macular degeneration, but the disease is more common among Caucasian people with fair skin and light eye color.
Drug side effect: Some toxic drugs can cause macular degeneration as a side effect. Ask your doctor about the risk of side effects before agreeing to take any prescription medication.
The most common way to treat macular degeneration is with injectable medications. These work by inhibiting vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF), which are proteins that stimulate the growth of new blood vessels. Since macular degeneration develops when abnormal blood vessels grow in the retina, impairing all blood vessel growth can help improve vision in patients with this condition.
Depending on the exact treatment you choose, you may require injections directly into your eyes every four to eight weeks. Another option is to have medicine injected into your arm, which is activated as it passes through your retina with a low-energy laser beam shined into your eyes.
No macular degeneration treatment can completely restore vision loss, but it may slow or prevent additional vision loss. This shows how important it is to start your treatment promptly after vision loss begins.
To treat macular degeneration with the help of a knowledgeable optometrist, please contact Eyecare Specialties today. We have offices conveniently located in Lees Summit, Sedalia, Clinton and Warrensburg.