At least 1.8 million U.S. adults 40 and up suffer from age-related macular degeneration today, and it’s estimated the number will grow to 2.5 million by 2020. Although the macula may be a small spot in your retina, it’s crucial for something big: clear central vision. At Personalized Retina Care of Naples in Naples, Florida, retina specialist Katia Taba, MD, expertly diagnoses and treats age-related macular degeneration every day. Book your appointment online or by phone today.
Age-related macular degeneration is an eye condition where the macula in your retina deteriorates. This causes blurry vision and can eventually cause central vision loss.
Usually, this happens with age, and it's the number-one cause of vision loss in American adults 65 and up. There are two types of age-related macular degeneration: wet and dry.
Up to 90% of all age-related macular degeneration cases are dry. In dry macular degeneration, the macula thins rapidly, which steadily makes central vision blurrier. Eventually, central vision loss occurs. In most cases, it occurs in both eyes. Dry age-related macular degeneration may sometimes become wet macular degeneration -- the more severe type.
Wet age-related macular degeneration happens after abnormal new blood vessel growth underneath the macula. The blood vessels eventually rupture, leaking blood and fluid and bringing on accelerated central vision loss.
In dry age-related macular degeneration, there are often no signs early on. However, a common warning sign of age-related macular degeneration is drusen accumulation. Drusen are tiny fat deposits below the retina. They're white or yellow, and they usually don't impact vision so you're unlikely to know about them until you have an eye exam.
Some signs to watch for include:
Your peripheral vision usually remains the same in age-related macular degeneration.
Dry age-related macular degeneration isn't curable, but often it's manageable. If you have significant drusen growths or vision loss, a specific blend of nutritional supplements may help. A major study found vitamin C, vitamin E, lutein, and other specific supplements can help. Dr. Taba can help you find the right vitamins and minerals.
For wet age-related macular degeneration, anti-VEGF medication may help. This group of medications decreases abnormal blood vessel growth and blood vessel leakage. Dr. Taba delivers this medicine to your eye in pain-free injections.
Laser surgery can help in some wet age-related macular degeneration cases. The laser can destroy the excess blood vessels and reduce leakage.
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