As you age, you may start to worry about your eye health. If you’re concerned about macular degeneration contact the Eye Specialists Center. We’ll keep you up to date on various macular conditions and provide treatment as necessary.
Interested in learning more? Here’s a quick rundown of age-related macular degeneration, or AMD, as well similar conditions, such as macular pucker and macular hole.
What Is Macular Degeneration?
The macular is the area of the eye that enables you to see minute details, which is especially important for driving and reading. When the macular breaks down or becomes damaged, it’s called AMD. This condition does not typically affect peripheral or side vision.
AMD typically falls under two categories:
“Dry”: This type involves the degeneration of vital pigment cells beneath the macular. When these cells die, the retina stops working, resulting in blind spots.
In some cases, drusen, or tiny yellow or white deposits, buildup under the macular. This causes blind spots and distortion.
“Wet”: This type involves abnormal blood vessel growth beneath the macular. The growth creates swelling and bleeding. Wet AMD causes more severe and rapid vision loss than dry macular degeneration.
- AMD Symptoms
- Empty or dark area in the center of vision
- Straight lines seem distorted
- Words appear blurred
- AMD Testing
- Acuity test analyzes your central vision accuracy at specific distances.
- Amsler Grid test identifies loss of sight, blind spots, and distortion.
- Color Testing discovers the health of your cone cells, which are in the macular.
- Fluorescein Angiogram test checks for blood vessel leakage and new blood vessel growth.
- AMD Treatment Options
- Anti-VEGF Injections inject small quantity of drugs into the eye. This blocks chemicals that enable abnormal blood vessels to grow. These injections treat wet macular degeneration, and they may take several months to be effective.
- Photodynamic Therapy (PDT) treats wet macular degeneration with a low intensity laser. This stimulates a light-sensitive drug injected intravenously. The two react, shrinking abnormal blood vessels.
A macular pucker occurs when creases, wrinkles, or bulges form in the macular. These happen when the vitreous pulls away from the retina. Also, scar tissue may develop on the macular; as it warps and contracts, it causes the retina to wrinkle or bulge.
- Macular Pucker Symptoms
- Blurred central vision
- Cloudy or gray area in the central vision
- Difficulty reading
- Trouble performing tasks that require detail vision
- Wavy or distorted or vision
- Macular Pucker Treatment Options
- For mild symptoms, no treatment is needed.
- For significant vision loss, vitrectomy surgery removes scar tissue.
A macular hole happens when the vitreous gel sticks to the macular. This stretches the macular tissue. After several weeks or months of strain, the macular tears.
- Macular Hole Symptoms
- Blurred and distorted central vision
- Blind spots in central vision
- Macular Hole Treatment Options
- Vitrectomy surgery closes the macular hole, allowing the eye to heal.
Call us at (708) 423-4070 if you have any questions about macular conditions or if you need treatment for these conditions.