Macular Degeneration Diagnosis & Treatment, in St. Charles, MO
Expert Eye Exams and Advanced Care for Eye Disease
Macular Degeneration, a common age-related eye disease after age 60, can be detected by our comprehensive eye exams way before you experience any symptoms or have vision complaints. Early detection of the disease is critical for slowing its progression. At Overland Optical Family Eye Care, our eye doctors will inspect your eyes skillfully for beginning signs of this disease, and we’ll manage your condition thoroughly to prevent future vision loss.
While there is currently no cure for this condition, a variety of advanced medical treatments are available – depending upon the type of macular degeneration that you have. Management of macular degeneration ranges from prescribing medications to injecting drugs into your eye directly. Additionally, laser surgery may be an appropriate option. Upon your diagnosis, our knowledgeable team of optometrists in St Louis County will meet with you to discuss the best, most effective methods for preserving your eyesight.
Our professional staff at Overland Optical Family Eye Care believe in an open, ongoing relationship between patient and eye doctor, and we’ll explain the limitations, benefits and potential risks of each treatment option.
What is Macular Degeneration?
This condition describes a breakdown of the macula, which is the middle part of your retina – responsible for central vision. The macula enables sight of fine details, such as needlepoint or very small print. With macular degeneration, blurry vision and distorted sight in your center field of vision are typical symptoms. Peripheral vision is usually not affected, so for example, you may be able to identify the numbers around the outline of a clock, but not where the hands are pointing. There are two distinct types of macular degeneration: dry and wet.
Dry, Age-Related Macular Degeneration (AMD)
The most common form of the eye disease, dry AMD may result from a thinning of macular tissues or from pigment deposits in the macula. When AMD is identified at a very early stage, we may prescribe a combination dose of zinc and anti-oxidants that has demonstrated success in slowing the development of this ocular disease.
Wet, Age-Related Macular Degeneration
This form of the disease is more advanced and more damaging to your vision. New blood vessels may spread beneath the retina and leak fluid and blood. The leaking generally causes permanent harm to retinal cells, which eventually leads to complete loss of vision in the center of your eye or blind spots.
Medical therapies for wet AMD include:
- Injecting drugs into your eye to prevent abnormal blood vessels from growing
- Photodynamic therapy, which uses a light-activated drug and a specialized “cool” laser
- Thermal laser surgery, performed as an outpatient procedure
In all of these treatments, stopping the growth of the specific blood cells that cause wet AMD is the goal. Often, treatment must be repeated to be effective.
Eye Exams are the First Line of Defense vs. AMD
Macular degeneration typically progresses slowly and painlessly. At the very early stages, you will likely remain symptomless, and only a routine eye exam will detect AMD. As the disease continues, you may notice fuzzy or distorted areas in your central vision. Don’t ignore these warning signs! Schedule an appointment with one of our St Charles, MO, eye doctors immediately.
For vision problems that come with diabetes see- diabetic retinopathy.