Age-Related Macular Degeneration (AMD) is a leading cause of vision loss in those 50 and older. It destroys central vision, which is needed to see objects and perform tasks, such as reading and driving.
This disorder affects the macula, which is the part of the eye that allows people to see fine detail. The condition is not painful, but it results in the death of cells in the macula. There are actually two types of AMD.
In Wet AMD, abnormal blood vessels grow under the macula. They leak blood and fluid. The condition progresses quickly. You may notice blurred or distorted vision as an early symptom.
The other type, Dry AMD, occurs when the light-sensitive cells in the macula slowly break down. Loss of central vision progresses slowly in dry AMD. If you have this condition, you may notice that straight lines do not appear to be straight. Sudden changes in vision could indicate that you have converted to the wet type of AMD and, therefore, you should contact your eye care professional for urgent examination.
Routine eye exams can detect macular degeneration before your vision fades. Treatment for this disease can be successful in slowing vision loss. Your retina specialist may use Optical Coherence Tomography (OCT) and Fluorescein Angiography to diagnose AMD. Treatment and prevention options include vitamins, lifestyle modifications, intravitreal injections of medicines and, rarely, laser surgery.
If you believe that you are experiencing conditions as described above or are concerned about the health of your eyes, it is important to see an eye care specialist immediately. If you have been diagnosed with a retina condition or have been referred to a retina specialist in East Tennessee and would like to make an appointment with Dr. Matt Cole, Knoxville Retina Specialist at Drs. Campbell, Cunningham, Taylor & Haun, call (865) 584-0905.