Several diseases affect the eye, either directly or as part of a system-wide problem. Often serious, these conditions require immediate professional Colorado eye care to preserve your vision. Thanks to modern advances in eye care knowledge and technologies, most eye conditions and diseases are treatable by a Vision Care Specialists’ eye doctor.
What is it?
Age-related macular degeneration (AMD), like cataracts, occurs in older patients and is the destruction of the macula of the eye, located in the center of the retina. The macula is responsible for the central vision. If left untreated, vision loss is imminent. Macular degeneration is classified into two categories: wet AMD and dry AMD.
- Dry AMD involves the breakdown in the cells of the macula. Dry AMD occurs in stages where vision loss is gradual and patients notice that their vision becomes blurry before they eventually lose their central vision.
- Wet AMD concerns the buildup of blood vessels beneath the macula, which leak and shift the macula from its normal position. Wet AMD is considered an advanced stage of macular degeneration that can lead to significant central vision loss if not treated in a timely manner.
Signs & Symptoms
The macula of the eye is in the center of the retina and is associated with seeing fine detail, a necessity for activities such as reading, driving, or working on a computer. When the macula becomes damaged, either due to cellular breakdown or the leakage of blood vessels in the retina, it is known as macular degeneration and it can lead to vision loss. Macular degeneration occurs mainly in people 60 years of age or older. If you notice that your vision is blurry or reduced, contact one of our experienced Denver eye doctors.
Detection of age-related macular degeneration occurs through an annual comprehensive eye exam. Our Denver eye care professionals utilize the latest that science and technology have developed for diagnostic eye tests to assess if damage is present on the macula. We utilize both Optomap and OCT (Optical Coherence Tomography) diagnostic equipment. Together these imaging tests provide our Colorado eye doctors with a 200 degree image of your retina and a detailed view of the macula and its associated anatomy. If deterioration is found, our physicians can determine the type of macular degeneration present. Using these tools our doctors monitor changes in the macula that indicate signs of the shift from “dry” macular degeneration to the “wet” form.
Although there is no specific treatment for dry macular degeneration, there are certain lifestyle changes including diet, exercise and eye care nutritional’s that can help slow the progression of the disease.
There are several treatment options available to delay the progression of vision loss and halt damage for wet AMD. Treatments for wet AMD are in the form of an injection of an Anti-VEGF medication such as Lucentis, Avastin, Macugen or Eylea. While it is possible to restore some vision in patients treated early, none of these treatments can restore vision with macular scarring. Laser photocoagulation (hot laser) and photodynamic therapy (cold laser) are not as commonly used with the advent of these medications. Since the progression of wet AMD is so rapid, it is imperative to seek treatment as soon as this type of macular degeneration is diagnosed.
Vision Care Specialists is the most experienced practice in the Rocky Mountain Region. Our Colorado eye doctors and exceptional staff provide you with the widest array of current options for optimizing your vision.
Contact Vision Care Specialists for a Diagnostic Test for Macular Degeneration
Call today at 303-991-9600 or request an appointment online