Understanding Macular Degeneration Symptoms, Causes, and Treatments

Submitted by Elman Retina Group on April 16, 2018

Age-related Macular Degeneration, or AMD, seems to start suddenly and worsen in a progressive manner until your vision is completely compromised. Unfortunately, once you notice vision changes, the damage caused by AMD may be permanent. Therefore, it is important to receive regular eye care to detect this condition in its earliest stages, well before macula damage occurs. Read on to learn more about macular degeneration symptoms, causes, and treatments.

Two Variations of AMD

Two variations of AMD, the wet and dry types, can affect your health, especially as you age. The dry type affects most people with AMD, as it occurs with the breakdown of light-sensitive cells in your eyes. The wet type, which only affects up to 15 percent of AMD patients, happens with the growth of blood vessels under the macula.

Common Symptoms

Without regular eye exams, vision loss is usually the only way to detect the development of macular degeneration. The vision loss will not be noticeable, however, until damage to the macula worsens. Detecting this condition early with retinal exams performed by your optometrist can give you the opportunity to slow vision loss before it accelerates. Any vision loss suffered prior to diagnosis is not reversible with any treatments.

Macular Degeneration Causes

Genetics plays the biggest role in the development of either form of AMD. The H (CFH) gene variant indicates an increased risk of developing this disease, which may trigger your eye doctor to take an even more proactive approach to your care. As long as you have regular eye exams performed, you can rest assured that your optometrist will spot subtle structural changes that indicate a problem.

Treatment Options

At this time, treatment options only focus on slowing vision loss commonly caused by macular degeneration. For the wet variant of AMD, prescription medications and procedures can halt vessel growth before it damages the macula. Dry AMD, however, does not have any treatments available, though your eye doctors may suggest nutritional changes to slow the disease progression.

Acquire Care for Macular Degenerations and Other Eye Disorders Today

If you want to acquire care for macular degeneration or any other eye disorders, give our team at Elman Retina Group a call at 410-686-3000 to schedule an appointment. We will help you protect your vision and eye health using proven care techniques.