Macular Degeneration

Lake Orion Vision

Optometrists located in Lake Orion, MI

About 11 million Americans have some form of age-related macular degeneration. If you’ve noticed a change in your central vision, don’t wait to schedule an appointment with a trusted eye doctor. At Lake Orion Vision, the team of optometrists works with people of all ages to diagnose and treat macular degeneration. To schedule an appointment at the practice in Orion, Michigan, call the office and speak with a friendly staff member, or book a consultation online today.

Macular Degeneration Q & A

What is macular degeneration?

Macular degeneration is the leading cause of vision loss worldwide. It’s a disorder that causes the macula –– a small area in the center of your retina –– to deteriorate, causing central vision loss. 

Your central vision is what you see when you look straight ahead. As macular degeneration progresses, you might find it difficult to drive or make out the faces of friends and family.

What are the types of macular degeneration?

The team at Lake Orion Vision treats both types of macular degeneration, including:

Dry macular degeneration

Dry macular degeneration occurs when small yellow deposits, known as drusen, develop under the macula. Over time, the buildup of drusen causes retinal damage and vision loss. 

Wet macular degeneration

Wet macular degeneration occurs when abnormal blood vessels begin to develop under the macula. As the condition progresses, the blood vessels begin to bleed and leak fluid. This can cause a dark spot to form in the center of your vision.

What are the symptoms of macular degeneration?

The symptoms of macular degeneration depend on the type and severity of the condition. Symptoms of dry macular degeneration include:

  • Distortion of straight lines in your field of vision
  • Trouble recognizing faces
  • Blurriness
  • Difficulty adapting to low lights
  • Reduction in central vision

Symptoms of wet macular degeneration include a blurry spot in your field of vision, hazy vision, and rapidly worsening symptoms.

Macular degeneration only affects your central vision. As a result, you may be able to see clearly from the sides of your eyes (peripheral vision).

How is macular degeneration diagnosed?

The team at Lake Orion Vision diagnosis macular degeneration by conducting a comprehensive eye exam, reviewing your medical history, and asking about your symptoms. Afterward, they dilate your pupils to check the back of your eyes for fluid, yellow deposits, or blood.

Next, your provider orders an optical coherence tomography (OCT) scan. The OCT provides detailed images of the back of your retina, which can detect swelling, thickening, or thinning. 

How is macular degeneration treated?

Treatment for macular degeneration depends on the type and severity of your symptoms. If you have dry macular degeneration, your provider might refer you to a low vision specialist who can help you adjust to vision loss. You might also benefit from surgery to improve your vision.

If you have wet macular degeneration, your provider might recommend prescription eye drops to stop the growth of new blood vessels. You might also benefit from photodynamic therapy. Photodynamic therapy uses a special laser to close leaking blood vessels. To achieve optimum results, photodynamic therapy usually takes several sessions.

During treatment, you attend follow-up visits as needed. The team at Lake Orion Vision monitors your progress and adjusts your regimen as necessary.

To learn more about treatment for macular degeneration, schedule an appointment at Lake Orion Vision today. Call the office and speak with a friendly staff member or book a consultation online.