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Optometrists in Phoenix, AZ Explain Macular Degeneration

Eye Doctors of Arizona, serving Phoenix, AZ and the surrounding area, treats patients who have macular degeneration, the leading cause of vision loss in older Americans aged 60 and older, as noted by the National Institutes of Health. Regular visits with one of the optometrists in Phoenix AZ can prevent the complications associated with macular degeneration. Through routine screenings, we're able to diagnose the issue before you start to exhibit symptoms, which lead to the best prognosis. 

Woman getting tested for Macular Degeneration.

Definition of Macular Degeneration 

Macular degeneration also referred to as AMD for age-related macular degeneration, is an issue that occurs in the portion of the eye known as the macula. The macula is the central portion of the retina that's responsible for visual acuity. When the macula becomes damaged, it causes issues with the patient's central vision. Those who have macular degeneration might not be able to see details clearly, whether looking at an item near or far away. You won't lose your peripheral vision with macular degeneration. 

Those who have macular degeneration might not be able to see details clearly, whether looking at an item near or far away. You might have difficulty reading, driving, watching television, using a computer or recognizing faces. It might be difficult to perform any task that requires the ability to see fine details. Macular degeneration can cause visual distortions, a blurry or blind spot in your field of vision, a decreased intensity in the brightness of colors or a general haziness in your overall vision. If you have macular degeneration, you might notice an abrupt onset of the condition along with symptoms that rapidly worsen. 

Wet vs. Dry Macular Degeneration

The dry form is the most common while the wet form is the more serious form. The dry macular degeneration occurs when portions of the macula thin with age and small clumps of the protein called drusen grow. The loss of your central vision is a slow process. 

The wet form occurs when abnormal blood vessels grow under the retina. The vessels break and leak blood or other fluids, resulting in scarring of the macula. The vision loss from the wet form happens quicker than that of the dry version. 

Cause and Prevention 

The exact cause of macular degeneration isn't currently known. Heredity and environmental factors appear to play a role in the development of the condition. The main contributing factor to the condition is age. Those who are over the age of 55 are more likely to have the condition. Other factors in the onset of the condition include smoking and genetics. Caucasians are actually more likely to develop the condition than any other race. 

Our Treatment Approach

Currently, a cure for macular degeneration doesn't exist. Our optometrists in Phoenix AZ utilize various managing techniques that'll help combat the symptoms such as regular changes in prescription eyewear as well as prescription sunglasses to protect your eyes from further damage. 

Make an Appointment

To schedule an appointment with Eye Doctors of Arizona, serving Phoenix and the surrounding area, to have your eyes checked for macular degeneration or have us help manage your condition, contact us today at 602-257-8280.