Macular Degeneration

Age-Related Macular Degeneration (ARMD) is caused by the deterioration of the central portion of the retina called the macula.  People with ARMD can lose their central vision.  We use our central vision the majority of the time and in severe ARMD, it will be like having a black spot in the middle of your vision at all times.  There are two types of ARMD, dry and wet.  Dry ARMD is the most common.  Vision loss occurs at a much slower rate.  Wet ARMD is much more vision damaging and it involves leaking of fluid and blood beneath the retina causing sudden changes in vision.  Risk factors include a family history of ARMD, UV exposure from the sun and smoking.  Individuals with fair skin tone and light eyes are at more risk.  To lower your risk of ARMD, start wearing sunglasses at a young age and avoid smoking habits. Both types of ARMD are incurable at this time, but our doctors may recommend eye vitamins which have been shown to decrease the risk of developing wet ARMD or they may recommend other treatments including eye injections.  It is very important to have your eyes examined yearly to monitor for progression of ARMD.  Our comprehensive eye exams include dilation of the eyes and monitoring for ARMD.  Digital retinal photography is also a great method to better monitor for subtle changes that could indicate early ARMD in the form of a photo documentation.  Call our office today to schedule your comprehensive eye exam including monitoring for ARMD.

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