Age-Related Macular Degeneration Diagnosis And Treatment With Our Seattle Eye Doctor Staff
Macular degeneration is a leading ocular disease that affects approximately 11 million Americans. Since 2002, Seattle, WA, eye doctor Dr. Le Huy Hoang has provided exceptional care for men and women living with this condition and helped them maximize their vision and eye health at every age.
What is AMD?
Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) occurs when the macula (which is the center of your light-sensitive retinal tissue in your eye) wears down and degrades over time. There are two main ways this happens:
- In dry AMD (atrophic), the macula thins and wears down, leading to the nearby growth of small, yellow deposits called drusen. This is the most common form of AMD.
- In wet AMD (exudative), new blood vessels grow behind the retina and macula. These vessels leak fluids and cause scarring and damage on the macula. This is the least common type of AMD, though symptoms are generally more severe.
A third type of AMD, known as Stargardt disease, is an inherited type of macular degeneration that impacts young people.
What Are The Symptoms of AMD?
A person may have AMD for a long time before they notice symptoms. Once the macular degeneration becomes severe enough, they may notice slow, painless, and progressive loss of central vision loss (blurriness in the middle of their visual field). This may make it hard to read, see faces, and perform other tasks requiring good visual acuity.
What Causes AMD?
As the name implies, AMD is primarily associated with advancing age, though the specific causes aren’t known. Certain people may be more at risk for AMD, including those that have hypertension, have diabetes, are obese, smoke, have a family history of AMD, and are older than 60.
You’ll notice that of these risk factors, most of them are actually preventable! In addition to implementing healthy lifestyle changes, you can also reduce your risk by regularly scheduling an eye exam with your optometrist. An eye doctor can detect early warning signs of AMD and implement interventions to slow or prevent the onset of symptoms.
How an Optometrist in Seattle Treats AMD
Currently, there’s no cure for AMD, but our optometrist in Seattle can help you manage your condition in several ways:
- Updated prescription eyeglasses to accommodate vision loss
- Training and implementation of low vision strategies
- Nutritional supplements for dry type
- Pre- and post-operative care for laser surgery (for wet type)