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Macular Degeneration

As people age, their vision changes. For people over the age of 50, those vision changes can include macular degeneration. This eye disease is the leading cause of vision loss in America and affects your most central and sharp vision. Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) can be detected through a comprehensive eye exam before symptoms appear. If you are over 50 and live in the Scottsdale or Mesa area, schedule an eye exam with Riviera Opticare. We are trained in detecting and monitoring macular degeneration.

woman being examined for macular degeneration

What is Macular Degeneration?

Macular degeneration occurs when the central portion of the retina deteriorates, creating a blind spot in the field of vision. It presents itself in either a wet or dry form.

  • Wet is a more advanced stage of the disease, when abnormal blood vessels form in the macula which leaks blood or fluid. The disrupted macula is the part of the retina responsible for the center of the field of vision. This can ultimately lead to blindness.
  • Dry is the result of small yellow deposits forming under the macula called drusen. This leads to a distortion, blur and macular disruption, which causes vision loss. 

Macular degeneration first appears in it’s dry form, but for about 10% of cases, the dry form progresses to the wet. Symptoms of wet will appear suddenly and worsen rapidly, although total vision loss may not occur.

Symptoms of AMD

By the time symptoms appear, most people are in the late stages of AMD. That's why regular eye exams by an optometrist are vital to eye health.  Symptoms of this eye disease may include:

  • Visual distortions, such as bent or wavy lines
  • Loss of clarity in central vision
  • Less intense colors
  • Well-defined blurry or blind spot 
  • A haziness in overall vision
  • Trouble adapting to bright light after being in darkness or indoors

Macular degeneration is considered an incurable eye disease. However, lifestyle changes and nutritional supplements may help delay its onset and symptoms.

Risks

Aside from age, genetics and race are two additional risk factors. Individuals with a family history of AMD have a greater chance of developing the disease. Macular degeneration appears more frequently in Caucasians.  

Lifestyle choices can also increase the risk of acquiring AMD. Such as:

  • Smoking
  • Obesity
  • Cardiovascular disease
  • Not wearing sunglasses

Following a healthy lifestyle and having regular eye exams are two things you can do to protect your eyes.

Schedule an Eye Exam at Riviera Opticare

Our optometrists at Riviera Opticare are trained in the detection and monitoring of macular degeneration. Whether you live in Scottsdale, Mesa, or the surrounding area, contact us at 480-827-9184 to schedule a comprehensive eye exam. Let us help you preserve your sight.

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