Macular degeneration is a degenerative eye disease that can cause permanent central vision loss. Macular degeneration is more common in the 7th to 8th decade of life. Initial symptoms of macular degeneration are typically mild blur at all distances, or blur that is worse at near compared to distance. Macular degeneration is typically caused by a combination of genetic and environmental factors. Most people of Caucasian decent will carry genes that pre-dispose you to macular degeneration, but this does not mean you will get it. Many new genetic testing services that provide health information will include information about your carrier status for the macular degeneration gene.
The biggest risk factors for developing macular degeneration are: a family history of macular degeneration in a first degree relative (mother, father or sibling), cigarette smoking and cardiovascular disease. Studies have shown that people who smoke cigarettes have a significantly higher risk of developing macular degeneration. Recent studies also note that cardiovascular disease, like high blood pressure, plays a large role in the development of macular degeneration.
If you are concerned about macular degeneration or have a strong family history it is best to have routine, annual exams with dilation or wide field photos to have your macular health evaluated. The best way to avoid long term problems from macular degeneration is by early detection. Vision loss caused by macular degeneration cannot be reversed, but further vision loss can often be prevented.
At EyeTech Optometry, in Frisco Colorado, we have the latest technology for visual fields, optical coherence tomography (OCT) and wide field retinal imaging to accurately diagnosis, treat and monitor macular degeneration.
Dr. Ward and Dr Philpy regularly diagnose and treat eye injuries, infections, inflammations, burning, redness, pain, sensitivity, pink eye and remove foreign bodies from the eye.
Our doctors can treat, prescribe medication for and manage many different eye diseases like glaucoma, macular degeneration and diabetic retinopathy.
Diagnosis and Referral
For eye conditions like cataracts, retinal tears and retinal detachments that may require surgical or specialized care, our Optometrists provide initial diagnosis as well as referral, co-management and follow-up care in coordination with an Ophthalmologist.
Many eye problems like glaucoma, macular degeneration, cataracts and diabetic retinopathy don't have obvious symptoms in their early stages. Changes in vision are often so gradual that you unconsciously adjust to your sight without realizing your vision has changed. You may think you are seeing as well as you were a year ago and don’t have problems, but you can't be sure until you've had your eyes thoroughly examined.