What is macular degeneration?

Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is a condition in which the macula, the part of your retina responsible for sharp central vision, degenerates. Macular degeneration is the leading cause of blindness in people over the age of 65, affecting an estimated 1.75 million people in the United States today.

What are the types of macular degeneration?

There are two types of macular degeneration:

  • Dry macular degeneration is caused by the gradual thinning of macular tissues as you age, or the depositing of pigment in the macula. In some instances, this type of macular degeneration may result from a combination of these two factors.
  • Wet macular degeneration is less common than the dry form of the disorder. Wet macular degeneration occurs when new blood vessels grow underneath the retina. When these new blood vessels leak, they permanently damage light-sensitive retinal cells, causing blind spots in your central vision.

What are the symptoms of macular degeneration?

Macular degeneration often results in a slow and painless loss of vision and does not cause many noticeable symptoms. The disease may only be detected through routine eye examinations with the San Diego macular degeneration team at California Retina Associates. If your vision becomes hazy, you lose color intensity, or begin to develop holes in your central vision that make tasks like reading or driving challenging, you should call us to schedule an examination as soon as possible.

What are the risk factors for macular degeneration?

Age is the largest risk factor for macular degeneration, but genetic factors such as a family history of the disorder and lighter eye color may also play a role. Lifestyle choices linked to a higher risk for macular degeneration include:

  • Smoking
  • Obesity
  • Inactivity
  • Poor diet lacking nutrition

Preventing macular degeneration or slowing its progression once it begins may be aided by not smoking, getting plenty of exercise, and eating a diet high in fruits, vegetables, complex grains, nuts, and fish. We will be happy to discuss ways you can decrease your risks and stave off vision loss due to macular degeneration during your regularly scheduled eye examinations.

Can macular degeneration be cured?

There is no cure for macular degeneration. However, macular degeneration treatment may delay its progression and help preserve vision. Dry macular degeneration is often treated through simple lifestyle changes including the addition of supplements containing antioxidants, omega-3 fatty acids, and nutrients such as zinc, lutein, zeaxanthin.

Wet macular degeneration may be treated with intravitreal injections of anti-VEGF drugs like Avastin. The medication or combination of medications used to treat your particular case will be dependent on your needs and determined by one of our experienced ophthalmologists.

Where can I find macular degeneration care in San Diego?

California Retina Associates has years of experience managing cases of age-related macular degeneration, and we can help you avoid vision loss due to the disease.

If you have questions about macular degeneration or would like to schedule an eye examination, please call us at (619) 425-7755 or (760) 352-7755. You can also contact California Retina Associates online today to ask a question or request an appointment.