Macular degeneration affects the light-sensing cells in your eyes that are responsible for sharp, central vision. It’s a leading cause of vision loss in people over 50. People in Farmington Hills, Michigan, receive expert evaluation and treatment of macular degeneration from optometrist Tiffany Zair-Yalda, OD, at Professional Contact Lens and Optical Clinic. If you notice a change in vision, contact the office to set up an appointment or schedule online.
Macular degeneration is not just one disease. It’s various forms develop in the macula, an area near the center of your retina. The macula contains light-sensing cells that allow you to see straight ahead.
Macular degeneration develops in one of two ways:
Dry macular degeneration is the most common form, affecting 80% of patients with the disease. This form develops over time, as your macula thins.
Tiny clumps of protein and fat, called drusen, start to accumulate under your retina. As these drusen enlarge, they damage the macula’s cells and begin to affect your central vision.
When abnormal blood vessels grow behind the retina, you develop wet macular degeneration. These new blood vessels tend to leak due to their fragility, causing swelling and damaging the macula.
Wet macular degeneration is more serious than the dry version. Vision loss comes on much faster.
Symptoms of macular degeneration don’t show in the early stages of the disease. As your condition gets worse, however, you can experience:
The loss of central vision is usually marked by a darkened shadow that appears in the middle of your visual field. You’ll find it hard to read or to recognize faces.
Optical coherence tomography (OCT) uses light waves to take pictures of your retina. The procedure is noninvasive. It gives Dr. Zair-Yalda a view of your retina’s layers to evaluate leaking blood vessels and drusen size.
Dry macular degeneration can’t be cured, but a therapeutic dose of vitamins that support your eye health can slow it down.
Macular degeneration can develop due to exposure to ultraviolet light, the same UV rays that cause a sunburn. Dr. Zair-Yalda might recommend that you wear glasses or contact lenses with UV protection to prevent it or stop it from getting worse.
If you have wet macular degeneration, Dr. Zair-Yalda could recommend treatments that either stop the bleeding from existing abnormal blood vessels or prevent these new vessels’ growth.
If you’ve noticed a change in your vision, make an appointment at Professional Contact Lens and Optical Clinic. Call today or use this website to schedule.