Macular degeneration is one of the most prevalent eye diseases in the world. Not only that, the disease can lead to vision loss and significantly impact your quality of life. While there is no cure for the disease, regular eye exams, adopting a healthy lifestyle, and staying informed about the available treatments is vital for preserving your vision. Before scheduling your appointment with us at Lawrence S. Forgacs, O.D. in New York, NY, learn more about macular degeneration below:
Understanding Macular Degeneration
Macular degeneration is a chronic eye disease that primarily affects the central part of the retina, which is responsible for sharp and detailed vision. The disease gradually impairs an individual's ability to see fine details, which makes activities like reading, driving, and recognizing faces a challenge.
A variety of factors contribute to the development of macular degeneration, such as age, family history, smoking, obesity, high blood pressure, and excessive exposure to sunlight.
Causes of Macular Degeneration
Macular degeneration causes the cells of the macula to become damaged, which results in a decline in central vision. There are two types of the disease: dry and wet. Dry macular degeneration occurs when the macula becomes thin, causing gradual vision loss. Wet macular degeneration occurs when abnormal blood vessels grow around the retina, which can leak and damage the macula and lead to rapid vision loss.
In order to preserve your vision, it’s important to be aware of the symptoms of macular degeneration. Some common symptoms of the disease include:
- Blurred or distorted vision
- Difficulty reading or recognizing faces
- Dark or empty spaces in the central visual field
- Decrease in color perception
Lifestyle Changes to Slow Progression
While macular degeneration cannot always be prevented, certain lifestyle changes can help slow its progression. Visiting our optometrist regularly is crucial for early detection and effective management. Along with this, maintaining a healthy diet that is rich in leafy greens and fish and quitting smoking can also help prevent macular degeneration. In addition, if you engage in regular exercise, manage your blood pressure and cholesterol levels, and protect your eyes from harmful ultraviolet (UV) rays with sunglasses and wide-brimmed hats, you can help keep your eyes healthy and lower your chances of the disease.
Treatment for Macular Degeneration
While there is no cure for macular degeneration, several treatment options are available to help manage the disease and preserve your vision. For dry macular degeneration, our optometrist may recommend specific vitamins and minerals to slow down the progression. In some cases, eye surgery may be necessary to seal any leaking blood vessels and prevent further damage.
Contact us for Treatment Today
Regular eye exams are important for early detection of macular degeneration and improving your vision. To schedule an eye exam and to learn about our treatment options, contact Lawrence S. Forgacs, O.D. in New York, NY, at (212) 583-9000 today.