Macular Degeneration Care from Your Eye Doctor in Las Vegas
While every part of your visual field is important, perhaps none enriches your life quite so much as the central zone where you perceive faces, text, TV images and everything else you choose to focus your eyes on. If you can imagine what it would be like to see nothing clearly in that part of your visual field, then you understand how serious macular degeneration can be. Fortunately, this form of irreversible vision loss can be slowed or arrested with early detection and skilled treatment by your Las Vegas eye doctor at Kopolow and Girisgen Doctors of Optometry.
Macular degeneration is commonly referred to as age-related macular degeneration (AMD) because it tends to manifest itself after age 60. This disease involves the gradual destruction of a part of the retina known as the macula, which processes central visual data. There are two principal forms of this condition:
Dry macular degeneration - Dry macular degeneration occurs when yellowish deposits called drusen appear on the macula and the macular tissue starts to thin out, losing its ability to process light and contributing to central vision loss.
Wet macular degeneration - In this more advanced form of the disease, extra thin-walled blood vessels start to proliferate underneath the macula. These blood vessels are prone to bleeding, which can cause significant central vision loss.
In addition to age, risk factors for macular degeneration may include smoking, heredity, family history, iris color and excessive UV or blue light exposure.
Our Las Vegas macular degeneration testing includes both visual evaluations and an inspection of the eye's interior. Tests such as the Amsler grid can reveal whether you're seeing straight lines as curved, wavy or otherwise obscured. Dilation of the pupils allows us to look at more of the retina, including the macula, for signs of drusen or blood vessel leakage. Your Las Vegas eye doctor may also use sophisticated imaging equipment to measure your macular tissue depth.
A diagnosis of macular degeneration doesn't mean you have to lose your vision. Your Las Vegas optometrist can recommend several treatment strategies to help you fight the condition's progress and maintain optimal eyesight. These may include lifestyle changes such as UV protection, smoking cessation and the adoption of a nutritional supplement program called AREDS2. (Some of these steps can also help reduce your risk for other Las Vegas ocular diseases.) Wet macular degeneration can be controlled with injectable medications or, in some cases, laser treatment.
The sooner macular degeneration can be caught, the sooner it can be brought under control -- potentially rescuing your eyesight in the process. Take the time right now to help ensure optimal vision later. Contact your Las Vegas optometrist at any of our locations for a comprehensive eye exam!