Macular degeneration is an eye disease characterized by deterioration of the macula, which is the part of the retina responsible for central vision. Next to glaucoma, age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is the leading cause of blindness and affects millions of individuals in the United States. Continue reading to get the facts regarding this detrimental eye disease.
The two types of AMD are dry AMD and wet AMD . Dry AMD accounts for approximately 90 percent of all cases and occurs when tiny proteins and “drusen” fat deposits build up between the photoreceptors inside the retina. Wet AMD develops as a result of abnormal blood vessel growth beneath the macula which causes leakage of blood and fluid, ultimately causing damage to the retina’s photoreceptor cells.
There are a number of factors that may increase your risk of developing macular degeneration. These include having a family history of the disease, being of Caucasian descent, and using tobacco products. Individuals with high blood pressure and high cholesterol may also be at an increased risk for macular degeneration.
The symptoms of macular degeneration will increase in severity as the disease progresses. Common signs of AMD include blurred central vision, distortion of straight lines, blind spots, and headaches.
The treatment options available for macular degeneration include anti-VEGF injections to control endothelial growth of abnormal blood vessels, photodynamic therapy, and laser surgery. Your ophthalmologist can help you determine which treatment method is right for you based on the type and severity of your macular degeneration and your overall health status.
Find out if you are experiencing vision loss due to macular degeneration by contacting NYC ophthalmologist Dr. Mark Hornfeld of Vista Laser Vision at (212) 580-8881. With several years of experience, Dr. Hornfeld is your resource for macular degeneration, cataract, and glaucoma treatment in New York City.