Ophthalmology

What Is Macular Degeneration?

Macular DegenerationAge-related macular degeneration (AMD) occurs with problems to your retina. It happens when a part of the retina called the macula is damaged. With AMD you lose your central vision. You cannot see fine details, whether you are looking at something close or far. But your peripheral (side) vision may still be normal. For instance, imagine you are looking at a clock with hands. With AMD, you might see the clock’s numbers but not the hands.

Two types of AMD

Dry AMD

This form is quite common. About 80% (8 out of 10) of people who have AMD have the dry form. Dry AMD is when parts of the macula get thinner with age and tiny clumps of protein called drusen grow. You slowly lose central vision. There is no way to treat dry AMD yet.

Wet AMD

This form is less common but much more serious. Wet AMD is when new, abnormal blood vessels grow under the retina. These vessels may leak blood or other fluids, causing scarring of the macula. You lose vision faster with wet AMD than with dry AMD.

Many people don’t realize they have AMD until their vision is very blurry. This is why it is important to have regular visits to you ophthalmologist. Dr. Sheets can look for early signs of AMD before you have any vision problems.

Information source: American Academy of Ophthalmology

Age-Related Macular Degeneration Monitoring

As part of a comprehensive eye examination, Dr. Sheets can monitor for macular degeneration and other retina diseases.  If exudative (wet) changes are detected by examination or using the highly precise spectral domain OCT, Dr. Sheets can help coordinate care with a retina specialist.

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