Macular degeneration is a serious condition of the eye that causes blurry or reduced central vision. There are two types of macular degeneration, and they both cause blurry or blind spots in your field of vision. There is no cure for either type of macular degeneration; however, our team at C-Luminous EyeCare in Charlottesville can prescribe treatment options that can slow the progression of the disease.
Types of Macular Degeneration
Dry macular degeneration is the more common of the two and is more severe. It occurs when the macula, which is the part of the retina that is responsible for clear vision in your direct line of sight, becomes thin. Wet macular degeneration is less common and less severe. It occurs when abnormal blood vessels leak fluid or blood into the macula.
The Symptoms of Wet and Dry Macular Degeneration
The symptoms of dry macular degeneration occur gradually. They include:
- Seeing straight lines as bent
- Reduced central vision in one or both eyes
- Needing brighter lights when reading
- Trouble adapting to dim lights
- Blurriness of printed words
- Decreased intensity of bright colors
- Trouble recognizing faces
- Blurry or blind spots in your field of vision
Treating Dry Macular Degeneration
There is no treatment for dry macular degeneration. Our optometrist can prescribe supplements to slow the progression of the disease. We will also suggest lifestyle changes such as quitting smoking, losing weight, and eating a healthy diet. When permanent vision loss occurs, our eye doctor will suggest low vision aids, such as magnifying glasses, large print books, and text to speech apps.
Treating Wet Macular Degeneration
Wet macular degeneration is more treatable. The eye doctor can inject a medication into the affected eye every four to six weeks. Some patients recover part of their vision when the blood vessels shrink and the retina absorbs the excess fluid. Additional treatment options include:
- Photodynamic therapy: This procedure can treat the abnormal blood vessels in the eye.
- Photocoagulation: This is a laser procedure that causes scarring to stop the blood vessels from bleeding.
- Low vision rehabilitation: An occupational therapist can help you find ways to adapt to your changing vision.
Detecting and Treating Macular Degeneration in Charlottesville, VA
Because macular degeneration is so serious, annual visits at C-Luminous EyeCare in Charlottesville are essential. If our eye doctor can catch the condition early, steps can be taken to slow the progression of the disease. Call us today at (434) 973-7996 to learn more or to schedule an appointment with Dr. Cioara.