Macular Degeneration Treatment at Hendersonville Eye Care
Macular degeneration is a serious disorder that progressively destroys the eye's central visual field. Left undiagnosed and untreated, this disease can make it impossible to read, see faces, or pursue so many of the activities we take for granted. The sooner macular degeneration is detected, the more effectively it can be treated -- and that's where the experienced team at Henderson Eye Care can help.
There are two types of macular degeneration, wet and dry. In the dry type, by far the most common, deposits called drusen form on a part of the retina called the macula, gradually causing distortions in vision. Sometimes this condition presents in the wet stage, in which abnormal blood vessels start to form inside the eye under the retina, accelerating vision loss. Although the central visual field goes dark, peripheral vision remains.
How Hendersonville Eye Care Can Help
Macular degeneration tends to be age-related, and individuals aged 60 and over are more vulnerable to it. Anyone can get macular degeneration, but women with light-colored irises have an elevated risk, as do people with a family history of the condition. These risk factors can't be helped, but another one can -- smoking actually doubles your risk.
Since there is currently no cure for macular degeneration, it is essential to catch it early to preserve as much of your vision as possible. One common test is called an Amsler grid, which can help reveal irregularities in your vision. We can also examine your retinas with an ophthalmoscope to look for the telltale signs of the disease.
Even if you have been diagnosed with macular degeneration, treatments exist to help you optimize your vision. One popular treatment is a medication called Lucentis. When injected into the eye on a monthly basis, this drug can help arrest the growth of abnormal blood vessels in cases of wet macular degeneration. Another injectable drug, Macugen, is effective for reducing age-related macular degeneration, while a third option, Eylea, requires less frequent treatments than other medications. Patients with severe vision loss can even receive tiny implanted cameras that help improve their ability to recognize faces and objects. We can help you select the best options for your needs.
In addition to medical treatments, we may also recommend lifestyle and dietary changes to help prevent or control macular degeneration. If you smoke, we will urge you to quit, either on your own or with the aid of a smoking cessation program. We may also advise you to modify your intake of products containing vegetable fats, polyunsaturated fats, monounsaturated fats and/or linoleic acid -- which basically means replacing highly processed "junk food" in your diet with foods containing omega-3 fatty acids. This can help reduce your risk of age-related macular degeneration.
Don't keep yourself in the dark about the state of your eye health. Contact Hendersonville Eye Care at 828-693-5205 for a comprehensive eye health exam that includes testing for macular degeneration. We want to help you keep seeing for many years to come!