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One of the great joys of possessing clear vision is the ability to see the faces of loved ones, read with ease and drive safely. But these simple pleasures can be taken away from you if a disease called macular degeneration is allowed to spiral out of control. This is a disorder of the part of the retina that makes central vision possible - and it causes more cases blindness in the U.S. than both cataracts and glaucoma put together. That 's why our team at Eye 1st Vision Center urges exams, diagnosis, monitoring and treatment to protect your eyesight against it.
The macular is the area of the retina that processes your central field of vision. If this part of the retina loses its ability to relay images to the optic nerve, you may experience distortion, blurring or blank spots in the center of whatever of you see, while your peripheral vision remains unchanged. Since these distortions can make reading, driving and other essential activities impossible, many people with advanced macular degeneration are classified as legally blind.
Macular degeneration is so closely tied to the aging process, with symptoms generally occurring after the age of 55, that it's often referred to as age-related macular degeneration (AMD). Smoking, genetic factors, UV/blue light exposure and family history may also raise the odds of getting it.
Unfortunately, the damage done by macular degeneration isn't currently curable or reversible. The good news is that if your condition is diagnosed early, we may still be able to help you preserve as much central vision as possible. Our optometrists provide such care for Sandy Springs, Marietta, Roswell, Brookhaven and Atlanta GA residents. Grid tests can reveal any difficulties you have in viewing straight lines, a sign of macular degeneration, while retinal examination under dilation can help us spot internal abnormalities associated with the disorder.
Injectable medications are a common and effective treatment for many cases of macular degeneration. These medications can help prevent the growth of abnormal blood vessels in the eye, a feature of advanced or "wet" macular degeneration. Laser technology has also been used to fight the disorder. In some cases, lasers have been used to eliminate or seal leaky blood vessels in the eyes, while in others they are used to activate an injected medication that achieves the same effect. Our optometrists may even refer to an eye surgeon for the implantation of a tiny telescopic lens that helps magnify and clarify vision in advanced macular degeneration.
Home care practices can also help you help your eyes. Our optometrists may recommend that you give up smoking, wear protective lenses that block dangerous light frequencies, and consume foods and supplements rich in omega-3 fatty acids and specific antioxidants.
Call Eye 1st Vision Center at 404-252-1702 for a potentially sight-saving consultation!