Protect Your Vision with Macular Degeneration Treatment in Chicago
Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is the leading cause of vision loss for people age 50 and over. It occurs when the cells at the macula, a small area of tissue toward the back of the retina, begin to deteriorate. The macula is more sensitive to light than the rest of the retina and is responsible for distinguishing details and objects that are straight ahead.
AMD does not usually significantly affect peripheral vision. AMD may affect just one eye, but it also may affect the other eye with time. Very few cases result in total blindness.
What Are the Symptoms of AMD?
While symptoms vary, they may include the following:
- Dimming of central vision (particularly while reading)
- Distorted vision (straight lines appear wavy)
- Sudden loss of central vision
What Causes AMD?
While the precise cause of AMD is unknown, the condition tends to develop with age.
There are two types of AMD. The most common type is called dry macular degeneration. It occurs when deposits in the macula interfere with the macula’s ability to register light.
Wet (neovascular) macular degeneration involves the growth of abnormal blood vessels under the retina. The vessels cause blood and fluid to leak around the retina, killing retinal cells and impairing vision. About 10% of cases of dry AMD develop into wet AMD.
What Factors Contribute to AMD?
Although scientists have not discovered a definitive cause of AMD, several factors contribute to the likelihood of developing AMD.
- Smoking: Smokers are twice as likely to develop AMD as nonsmokers.
- Race: Caucasians are more likely than African Americans or Hispanics to develop AMD.
- Family history: If family members suffer from AMD, there is a higher risk.
- Obesity: Early stage AMD is more likely to progress to severe AMD among the obese.
- Unhealthy diet: Those who eat few fruits and vegetables are more likely to develop AMD.
What Is the Treatment for AMD?
There is no cure for AMD and doctors have not discovered a way to reverse symptoms. However, you can prevent further vision loss through lifestyle changes and treatments prescribed by your eye doctor.
Those at the early stages of AMD can make lifestyle changes to reduce the risk of vision loss. A healthy diet of leafy greens and healthy fats contributes to better eye health. Studies also show high doses of vitamins can slow vision loss; however, you should not begin a vitamin regimen without consulting your doctor. At this stage, frequent eye exams are crucial to monitoring your progress.
Those at later stages of AMD, including wet AMD, are candidates for more aggressive treatments. Options include laser surgery, injections, and photodynamic therapy. Consult your doctor to find out if macular degeneration treatment in Chicago is right for you.
Do you have any further questions or wish to schedule an appointment? Call our office today at (866) 497-2177 for a consultation with Chicago macular degeneration specialist Dr. Calvin Grant.