When you go to the eye doctor, you likely do not expect to find out you have any eye disorders or issues to worry about. As such, if you received a diagnosis of macular degeneration from an eye doctor, you might be understandably confused and surprised. Get to know some of the important facts about macular degeneration now that you have been diagnosed with the disorder. Then, you can better manage the condition with the help of your ophthalmologist going forward.
What Is Macular Degeneration?
Macular degeneration, also known as age-related macular degeneration, is a progressive eye condition that impacts central vision. It is not a disease that usually causes total blindness, as peripheral vision remains intact. However, it can seriously impair vision and make it difficult to perform many tasks.
When a person has macular degeneration, the middle or central part of the retina begins to deteriorate. This happens slowly over time and can impact the ability to drive, recognize faces, see in great detail, or read, among other things.
Are There Different Types of Macular Degeneration?
Yes. There are two different types of macular degeneration that a person can suffer from. Dry macular degeneration is the most common of these two. Wet macular degeneration is generally considered the more severe form, but luckily is not as common. The difference is in what happens behind the retina. In dry type macular degeneration, deposits known as drusen form behind the macula.
In wet type macular degeneration, blood vessels begin to grow toward the macula, which is abnormal. When a person has wet type macular degeneration, they may experience bleeding and other complications not present in dry type. This type of macular degeneration also causes more extensive vision loss than dry macular degeneration generally does.
What Can Be Done About Macular Degeneration?
There is no cure as of yet for macular degeneration, though this does not mean there will not be one at some point in the future. However, there are treatments that can help to manage the condition and slow down the progress of the disease.
Laser therapy is one such treatment option if you have wet type macular degeneration. This therapy is used to address those abnormal blood vessels that grow towards the macula. This treatment can also be used in combination with a medication that is activated by the laser light energy.
Medications can also be injected directly into the eye. Vitamins and dietary supplements can also be a great help in managing the condition.
Knowing these facts about macular degeneration, you can be better prepared to deal with your newfound eye condition. Reach out to professionals like those at Idaho Eye and Laser Center to learn more.