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What is Macular Degeneration?

What is Macular Degeneration?

Have you recently spoken to your ophthalmologist about macular degeneration? Macular degeneration is the main cause of vision loss in Americans over 60 years old. This condition is the irreversible decay of the macula, a small area near the retina in the eye. Keep reading to get the facts straight about this serious condition.

Types of Macular Degeneration

Two types of macular degeneration exist: dry and wet. Dry macular degeneration is the most common type of this medical condition. In dry macular degeneration, the macula’s light-sensitive cells begin to slowly degenerate. Dry macular degeneration leads to wet macular degeneration, which is less common but is the more advanced form of this condition.

Diagnosis

An eye specialist can diagnose dry and wet macular degeneration. In order to make a diagnosis, the ophthalmologist will conduct several eye exams, including a dilated eye exam, test of visual acuity, fundoscopy, and fundus photography. If he or she suspects you may have advanced macular degeneration, a fluorescein angiography may be used to detect leaking blood vessels.

Living with Macular Degeneration

Unfortunately, there is no treatment or cure for macular degeneration—the condition is irreversible. However, degeneration of the macula can be slowed so that the condition does not progress to the advanced stage. One method of doing so is through a high dosage of antioxidant vitamins and zinc. Eye specialists can also perform vision rehabilitation and suggest low vision aids to help improve the quality of life of those with macular degeneration.

Prevention

In order to prevent the development of macular degeneration, it is important to adopt a healthy lifestyle. Having a healthy exercise routine and avoiding smoking cigarettes can go a long way in keeping your eyes healthy. In addition, maintaining a normal blood pressure range and healthy weight can slow the development of macular degeneration.

If you need additional information about macular degeneration in New York, contact Dr. Mark Hornfield at (212) 580-8881 to arrange an eye examination. Whether you have macular degeneration, need treatment for cataracts, or are looking to manage your glaucoma, Dr. Hornfield can ensure that your eyes get the care they need.