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Age Related Macular Degeneration

When you notice changes to your vision, you may have concerns about the underlying cause of the problem. In some cases, a Metuchen optometrist may determine that you have macular degeneration. By understanding the condition, you can determine your options for treatment and care.

senior patient diagnosed with macular degenaration

What is Macular Degeneration?

Macular degeneration refers to deterioration of the macula in your eyes. The macular is part of the retina and the damage to the area causes problems with your normal vision. The deterioration usually relates to aging, but it can occur in individuals with diabetes or other health conditions that may cause damage to the macula.

Types of Macular Degeneration and Their Symptoms

Macular degeneration has two main types: wet and dry macular degeneration. A Metuchen eye doctor wants to catch the problem during the dry phase of the condition because it allows a professional to slow the loss of vision.

Dry macular degeneration usually causes a gradual loss of your central vision. It does not strike quickly and may progress slowly over a period of years. The problem may worsen over time.

Wet macular degeneration is a severe and damaging form of the condition. It occurs in around 10 percent of cases and it causes a sudden change to your vision. The damage to the macula occurs quickly when compared to dry macular degeneration and it may not relate directly to age.

Causes of the Condition

The underlying causes of the condition depend on the specific type of macular degeneration. A Metuchen eye doctor focuses on the type of condition and the results of an exam to determine the specific factors that contribute to the changes in your vision.

Growing older is a common factor that contributes to the condition. Thinning of the macula also contributes to the development of the condition. The damage often stems from deposits on the macula that gradually cause damage to the area.

In the case of wet macular degeneration, the underlying cause stems from leaks in new blood vessels around the macula. The blood and other fluids damage the macula and cause rapid changes to your vision.

Macular Degeneration Treatment in Metuchen

Macular degeneration treatment in Metuchen depends on the condition and the severity of your symptoms. A Metuchen optometrist cannot cure the condition because it stems from damage to a portion of your retina. You can slow the progression of the condition by making changes to your lifestyle. We may suggest adjustments to your diet and physical activity level. We may also suggest quitting cigarettes if you smoke. In the case of wet macular degeneration, we may recommend certain medications to help reduce the abnormal growth of blood vessels in the area.

Treating macular degeneration starts with identifying your situation and needs. At our clinic, we identify the condition and then recommend a strategy to slow the progression of the damage. To learn more about our treatment options or to set up an appointment with an optometrist in our clinic, call 732-549-3555 today.