February is Age-Related Macular Degeneration Month


Age-Related Macular Degeneration (AMD) is the leading cause of severe vision loss in adults over age 50. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimate that 1.8 million people have AMD and another 7.3 million are at substantial risk for vision loss from AMD.

This eye disease occurs when there are changes to the macula, which is what we use for our central vision. There are two forms: "dry" (atrophic) and "wet" (exudative).

Symptoms of AMD

In its early stages, the following signs of macular degeneration can go unnoticed.

  • Gradual loss of ability to see objects clearly.

  • Shape of objects appears distorted.

  • Straight lines look wavy or crooked.

  • Loss of clear color vision.

  • A dark or empty area in the center of vision.

Treatment of AMD

With "dry" macular degeneration, the tissue of the macula gradually becomes thin and stops working properly. There is no cure for dry AMD, and any loss in central vision cannot be restored.

However, researchers and doctors believe there is a link between nutrition and the progression of dry AMD. Making dietary changes and taking nutritional supplements can slow vision loss.

Less common, "wet" macular degeneration occurs when fluids leak from newly formed blood vessels under the macula. This leakage blurs central vision. Vision loss can be rapid and severe.

If detected early, wet AMD can be treated with laser treatment. Medication can also be injected into the back of the eye to slow the growth of leaky blood vessels. None of these are permanent cures, but they can help minimize vision loss.

Call Coley and Coley Family Eyecare at 615-893-8847 to schedule a comprehensive eye examination. If Drs. Greg or Ginger Coley diagnose macular degeneration, they will schedule more extensive testing to determine the degree and treatment needed.




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