Macular Degeneration

As baby boomers become seniors, the incidence of age-related macular degeneration (AMD) increases.  AMD is the top reason for their severe vision loss.  More than 10 million Americans have AMD, according to our Seattle optometrist.  Since early diagnosis is essential for the most effective AMD eye care, regular exams at our SPEX Seattle optometry practice are important.

man receiving an eye exam from his optometrist

Important AMD Facts

Eye care professionals recognize two types of AMD:  dry and wet.  Each wet AMD patient initially experienced the dry form.  However, not all dry AMD eventually becomes the wet type.

Macular degeneration is an incurable condition.  It results from changes within the macula, a small section in the center of the retina.  The result can be lost in the central visual field.

With dry AMD, cells in the macula cannot eliminate waste products from the eyes.  In wet AMD, unwanted blood vessels beneath the macula rob vision as they attack rods and cones.

Research has not identified specific factors that AMD development.  However, beyond aging, hereditary and environmental influences probably play a role.

AMD Symptoms

Since early symptoms are often subtle, they can be hard to diagnose.  Our eye doctor notes that it is not possible to restore any lost vision.

Dry AMD symptoms typically develop in both eyes and progress slowly.  The most common include:

  • Trouble recognizing faces
  • Reduced central vision
  • Increased blurriness of print
  • Perception of straight lines as bent
  • Growing difficulty adjusting to lower levels of light
  • Reduction in color brightness or intensity
  • Needing increasingly brighter light for close work

Common wet AMD symptoms include:

  • Distortion of straight lines as bent
  • Hazy vision
  • Reduced central vision
  • Blind spot or blurring in the central field of vision
  • Rapid symptom development or worsening
  • Lower color brightness or intensity

Treatment from Our Eye Doctor

Our eye doctor reports that while it is impossible to prevent or cure AMD, dietary changes and certain nutritional supplements sometimes retard the progression of the dry form.  Smoking cessation and losing extra weight are also positive steps.

Ocular injections help some wet AMD patients.  Others benefit from photodynamic therapy.

Our optometry practice closely monitors AMD patients.  When it is time for adaptive changes, we can recommend helpful options.

Schedule an Exam with Our Seattle Optometrist

Getting the right eye care to protect your eyes from disease helps reduce the chance of permanent loss of vision or other problems.  Our SPEX Seattle optometry practice offers diagnostic services and treatment options for a number of diseases.  Be sure to take a moment to call us today at 206-682-9515 to schedule an exam with our Seattle optometrist and make sure you experience the best vision possible.

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