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Macular Degeneration

Bronx Eye Associates -  - Optometrist

Bronx Eye Associates

Optometrists located in Pelham Gardens, Bronx, NY

Macular degeneration affects nearly 7% of adults aged 40 and older. You won’t have symptoms until the disease progresses and affects your vision, but the experienced optometrists at Bronx Eye Associates can detect the earliest signs during your routine eye exam. Don’t wait for vision loss before getting treatment that may prevent macular degeneration from worsening. Schedule an appointment by calling the office in the Bronx in New York City or using the online booking feature.

Macular Degeneration Q & A

What Causes Macular Degeneration?

Macular degeneration, or age-related macular degeneration (AMD), develops in the part of your retina that contains millions of light-sensing cells. This area, called the macula, is essential for visual acuity and central vision.

AMD develops when the vital cells in the macula begin to deteriorate, ultimately leading to vision loss. Their degeneration happens for several reasons, depending on the type of AMD.

What are the Two Types of Macular Degeneration?

The two types, or stages, of AMD are:

  • Dry AMD: Dry AMD arises from age-related changes and the development of clumps of lipids called drusen, which interfere with the macula’s ability to obtain nutrients. You may gradually lose central vision, but vision loss isn’t as severe as wet AMD.
  • Wet AMD: About 10% of patients with dry AMD progress to develop wet AMD. This form is caused by the growth of abnormal blood vessels behind your retina. These vessels are so fragile that they leak blood and fluids, causing swelling that damages the light-sensing cells in the macula. As fluids build up, they can cause a detached retina.

What Symptoms Will I Develop Due to Macular Degeneration?

You won’t have symptoms when AMD is in an early stage. As more cells become damaged, you’ll develop:

  • Blurry vision
  • Distorted vision
  • Progressively diminishing central vision
  • Loss of color vision
  • Difficulty seeing in low light

As macular degeneration progresses, many patients have a hard time recognizing faces because loss of central vision blots out a person’s face.

How is Macular Degeneration Treated?

It’s important to get routine eye exams after the age of 40 because your optometrist at Bronx Eye Associates can detect early signs of macular degeneration.

Changes in your retina are visible during a comprehensive eye exam long before you develop vision symptoms, so an early diagnosis gives you the chance to take steps to preserve your vision.

  • Dry AMD Treatment: Although medical treatments aren’t available for dry AMD, taking therapeutic doses of supplemental vitamins and minerals may prevent the disease from worsening or may slow down its progression. Your optometrist at Bronx Eye Associates can let you know the types and doses of nutrients or recommend a supplement.
  • Wet AMD Treatment: Several treatments are available for wet AMD, such as photodynamic therapy and medications or surgery to stop the growth of new blood vessels.

If you’re overdue for a comprehensive eye exam or you have a question about vision problems, call Bronx Eye Associates or book an appointment online.