Casper & Douglas, WY Optometrist Share Macular Degeneration FAQs
Macular degeneration is an eye disease that results in vision loss because of damage to the macula. The macula is the central part of the retina, and this damage may result in the loss of central vision. Early macular degeneration may present as blurriness or wavy lines, while people with late-stage disease can completely lose their central vision while maintaining their peripheral vision.
What Causes Macular Degeneration?
Age is the largest risk factor for macular degeneration. Young people may experience a rare, recessive form of the disease, but most sufferers are over 55. The cause of macular degeneration is not totally understood, but genetics definitely plays a part because people whose family members had macular degeneration are at greater risk themselves. Smokers are at double the risk of non-smokers, and Caucasians are at a higher risk than other races.
Can Macular Degeneration be Prevented?
Maybe. Because the risk factors for macular degeneration include many lifestyle habits, it may be possible to reduce your risk by eating healthily, exercising regularly, protecting your eyes from the sun, and not smoking. However, some risk factors such as age and race are not changeable.
How is Macular Degeneration Diagnosed?
Fatty deposits on the macula that can only be seen by an eye doctor are the first sign of macular degeneration. At this point, there is usually no loss of vision, so people who do not have regular eye exams will not know they have the condition. Vision loss begins in either intermediate or late-stage disease.
Can Macular Degeneration be Treated?
Currently, there is no cure for macular degeneration. Supportive nutritional therapy, sometimes involving supplements, is used to help people with macular degeneration slow the progression of the disease. Other treatments available include lasers and injectable drugs. No treatment has been found so far that will reverse the disease, but some show promise in terms of preventing further progression.
The Eye Institute of Wyoming, P.C., Offers Treatment for a Wide Variety of Eye Conditions
At The Eye Institute of Wyoming, P.C. in Casper and Douglas, WY, we treat patients with a wide variety of eye diseases including macular degeneration. If you have macular degeneration or need an annual eye exam, call us today. New clients get 15% off their first visit!