Macular Degeneration Diagnosis and Treatment in Central PA

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what is Macular Degeneration?

Located in the centermost region of the retina is the macula, which controls our central vision. We use our central vision for everyday tasks, such as reading and driving. However, the macula may start to deteriorate as we age, especially once we reach 60 years of age and beyond. Macular degeneration has two forms, dry type and wet type, and both are a leading cause of blindness and vision impairment for elderly patients. Men and women with macular degeneration usually experience impaired central vision but can have enough peripheral vision to carry out normal activities.

While there is currently no cure for the disease in either form, modern ophthalmology has advanced far enough to offer innovative treatments that can potentially slow or stop its progression. At The Eye Center of Central PA, our skilled team of board-certified ophthalmologists works diligently to help patients with dry and wet macular degeneration regain some of their sight and stabilize their eye health. If you've noticed any sudden, abnormal changes in your vision, contact one of our offices throughout Central PA and schedule your consultation today.

what are the signs?

Dry and wet macular degeneration both develop often because of age, but their symptoms can vary. Dry macular degeneration is the more common of the two and progresses gradually. Patients with the dry type can maintain some of their central vision, along with their peripheral vision. While wet macular degeneration occurs less frequently, its side effects are quicker and more harmful. At The Eye Center of Central PA, we offer treatments for both dry and wet macular degeneration.

Men and women who have dry macular degeneration usually experience:

  • Blind spots
  • Distorted or dimmed vision, especially when reading

Those who have wet macular degeneration could experience:

  • Blind spots
  • Central vision loss
  • Curved or distorted vision (such as straight lines looking wavy)

what Causes amd?

When the development of small clumps of proteins in the macula blur, block, or distort vision, this is because of dry macular degeneration. With the wet type, irregular blood vessels grow beneath the retina and cause fluid or blood to leak. While researchers have yet to pinpoint the precise cause for either dry or wet macular degeneration, we do know some factors that may increase your risk. The factors most often associated with the development of macular generation are:

  • Genetics
  • Age (especially being 60 or over)
  • Weight
  • Skin and eye color
  • Gender (specifically being female)
  • Obesity
  • Having high cholesterol or high blood pressure
  • Smoking

Macular Degeneration Treatment Options

For dry macular degeneration, we offer AREDS 2, which are special vitamins created to specifically address age-related vision loss. These mineral supplements work to slow or stop the progression of the disease. We may also recommend some additional therapies to help control your symptoms and allow you to continue to live independently.

At The Eye Center of Central PA, we utilize anti-VEGF injections to help prevent or slow the development of the abnormal blood vessels associated with wet macular degeneration. The injections comprise the medications Avastin, Eylea, and Lucentis. When macular degeneration is identified early enough, anti-VEGF injections are the preferred option for treatment. If your disease is in a more advanced stage, we could perform a type of laser surgery to cauterize the blood vessels and prevent any additional leakage of blood or fluid into the retina.

regain your quality of life

Our team understands that receiving a macular degeneration diagnosis can be stressful or even scary, but rest assured that we are here to help in any way we can. At The Eye Center of Central PA, our board-certified ophthalmologists offer innovative treatments to help manage your condition and restore some of your central vision, as well as your eye health. Get in touch with one of our locations throughout Central Pennsylvania to schedule your comprehensive eye exam, regain your independence, and fight vision loss.

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*Individual results are not guaranteed and may vary from person to person. Images may contain models. Possible risks of LASIK include but are not limited to: dry-eye syndrome, which can be severe; possible need for glasses or contact lenses after surgery; visual symptoms including glare, halos, star-bursts, and double vision, which can be debilitating; and loss of vision. The results of cataract surgery cannot be guaranteed. Additional treatments and/or surgery may be necessary.