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What is Macular Degeneration?
Age-related macular degeneration, often called AMD or ARMD, is the leading cause of vision loss and blindness among Americans who are age 65 and older. AMD is degeneration of the macula, which is the part of the retina responsible for the sharp, central vision needed to read or drive. Because the macula primarily is affected in AMD, central vision loss may occur. Macular degeneration is diagnosed as either dry (non-neovascular) or wet (neovascular). Neovascular refers to growth of new blood vessels in an area, such as the macula, where they are not supposed to be. Macular degeneration mainly affects central vision, causing "blind spots" directly ahead. The dry form is more common than the wet form, with about 85 to 90 percent of AMD patients diagnosed with dry AMD. The wet form of the disease usually leads to more serious vision loss.
How Can Macular Degeneration be Treated?
No FDA-approved treatments are available for dry macular degeneration, although a few now are in clinical trials. The wet form may respond to laser procedures, if detected and treated early. A major National Eye Institute study (AREDS) has produced strong evidence that certain nutrients such as beta carotene (vitamin A) and vitamins C and E may help prevent or slow progression of dry macular degeneration. These findings have led to development of a number of different AREDS nutritional formulas for macular degeneration prevention. The AREDS study shows that taking high dose formulas of certain nutritional supplements found in eye vitamins may reduce risk of early stage AMD progression by 25 percent. Mason Family Vision has teamed up with Physician Recommended Nutriceuticals (PRN) to provide our patients with pharmaceutical grade supplements to support the ocular tissue and to help slow the progression of AMD. We also recommend that dry AMD patients wear sunglasses with UV protection.
Office Hours: Monday - Thursday 8:30 AM - 5:30 PM We are closed for lunch 12:30 - 1:30 Office Hours: Friday - 8:30 AM to 1:00 PM We are closed Saturday and Sunday
Keeping Your Eyes Healthy: Get regular comprehensive dilated eye exams
Getting a dilated eye exam is the only way to catch eye diseases early, because with many, there are no warning signs.
You might think your vision is in good shape or that your eyes are healthy, but visiting Dr. Mason for a comprehensive dilated eye exam is the only way to be completely certain. When it comes to common vision problems, many people don’t realize their vision could be improved with glasses or contact lenses. In addition, many common eye diseases such as glaucoma, diabetic eye disease, and age-related macular degeneration often have no symptoms. A dilated eye exam is the only way to detect these diseases in their early stages. Talk to your eye care professional about how often you should have one.
During a comprehensive dilated eye exam, drops are placed in your eyes to dilate, or widen, the pupil. Dr. Mason uses a special magnifying lens to examine your retina and look for signs of damage and other eye problems. After the examination, your close-up vision may remain blurred for several hours.