Treating Macular Degeneration in Mcdonough GA
Macular degeneration is the leading cause of vision loss in this country. In fact, it affects more than 10 million Americans. As of right now, it's considered an incurable disease, but that doesn't mean it's untreatable. At Fallas Family Vision, our entire staff is dedicated to caring for your eyes in order to preserve your eyesight as long as possible.
McDonough Optometrist Explains Macular Degeneration
The back layer of the eye is called the retina. This is the portion of the eye that records the images we see, then uses the optic nerve to send them to the brain. The central part of the retina is called the macula. It's responsible for focusing in the center of our field of vision. It controls our ability to drive, to read, and to even recognize colors and faces right in front of our eyes.
When the cells in this macula begin to deteriorate, the images aren't sent correctly to the brain. Our McDonough optometrist assures you that you may not have any changes in vision at all in the early stages of the disease. Once it progresses, the vision in the center, right in front of you, can become fuzzy or wavy. If the condition continues to get worse, the vision in the center can be lost completely, although peripheral vision will still remain.
The Stages of Age-Related Macular Degeneration
This is a progressive disease, and there is no way to predict how quickly it will progress, or even how badly it will affect your eyes. Generally, we recognize three stages of macular degeneration:
- Early AMD is the first stage of the disease, during which you probably won't even have any symptoms. This is why regular eye examinations are so important, especially as you age. With early diagnosis, we can help to prolong your eyesight, but we have to find the disease to treat it.
- In intermediate AMD, most people experience some vision loss, but the symptoms might not be very noticeable.
- Late AMD is the stage during which the most vision loss will occur.
Macular Degeneration Treatment
While there is no cure for macular degeneration, there are behavioral changes you can make that reduce the chance of you developing the disease, as well as slowing the progression once you've been diagnosed. The most important is to quit smoking, as being a smoker doubles your chances of developing AMD. Other changes are regular exercise, maintaining a healthy weight and avoiding ultraviolet light by always wearing good sunglasses while you're outside.
Once your eyes reach the intermediate stage, we may prescribe an antioxidant vitamin formulation that's been shown to slow the progression of the disease. While there is no cure, there are plenty of things that you and our doctor can do to delay the progression, preserving your eyesight for as long as possible.
If you have any other questions about macular degeneration, or to make an appointment for an eye examination, call our office at 770-954-9898.