Macular Degeneration

Macular Degeneration

With so many changes going on in your body — and indeed in your life — as you age, you don’t need the added complication of vision loss. Taking care of your eyes means taking care of your overall health and well-being. Learn what to do through your doctors at the Medex Diagnostic and Treatment Center in Queens, New York. If you’re beginning to see odd changes in your vision, visit an experienced ophthalmologist who offers guidance and solutions to protect your sight and prevent vision loss. Call for an appointment and begin the journey to optimum health and seeing a bright future.

Macular degeneration is an eye disease that results in a change in vision. It causes a part of your retina, called the macula, to thin. It’s a common condition that gradually blurs your central vision. As a result, you’ll have difficulty with daily activities, such as reading and driving. Also called age-related macular degeneration or AMD, this disease is the top cause of vision loss in adults over the age of 50.

The expert ophthalmologists at the Medex Diagnostic and Treatment Center in Queens, NY detect early signs of macular degeneration. Unless you’re already experiencing vision loss, your eye doctor typically finds evidence of macular degeneration during a routine comprehensive eye exam. That’s another good reason to maintain a regular schedule of checkups with your ophthalmologist or optician.

Can You Prevent Macular Degeneration?

A healthy lifestyle not only increases your chances for longevity, but also reduces the risk of developing many diseases, including macular degeneration. Healthful lifestyle choices include:

Smoking also increases your risk of developing AMD. If you currently smoke, ask your eye doctor for help quitting. If you have other medical conditions — such as high blood pressure, obesity or diabetes, — take control of your health now. You can do it with guidance from a specialist at Medex, which employs experts in more than a dozen medical specialties, all in one location.

The Symptoms of Macular Degeneration

Macular degeneration can affect one or both eyes. Symptoms usually come on gradually, which is why early detection prevents further deterioration. Signs of early-onset macular degeneration include:

If these symptoms are present in only one eye, you may not notice them. As the condition progresses, however, the blurry area at the center of your vision gets larger. You may notice that colors don’t appear as bright as they used to. Eventually, you may even begin to have difficulty recognizing faces.

What Causes Macular Degeneration?

Macular degeneration is associated with aging, but research indicates that your genes also play a role. You have the most control over environmental factors and lifestyle choices, such as smoking, inactivity and obesity. By overcoming them, you lower your risk of developing this eye condition.

Exposure to direct sunlight over the course of several years may be a contributing factor. Other health conditions, such as diseases that affect your blood pressure and heart, increase your risk of developing AMD.

Treating Macular Degeneration

There are two types of macular degeneration. The most common type is called dry macular degeneration. This form of AMD progresses slowly. It may eventually progress to wet macular degeneration, which leads to severe and permanent vision loss.

The dry form, which is early stage AMD, currently has no treatment that’s been approved by the FDA. Consuming a healthy diet and taking nutritional supplements that include antioxidant vitamins reduce the risk of progressing to the wet form of AMD.

The goal of the treatment for wet AMD is to stop abnormal blood vessel growth while preventing fluid from leaking into your retina. To accomplish this, your ophthalmologist injects medication into your eye to shrink blood vessels. Laser therapy also may be used to destroy abnormal blood vessels.

Taking Care of Your Eyes and Overall Health

Getting regular eye exams is the best way to ensure that any eye disease is caught as early as possible. Make good lifestyle choices, such as staying active, choosing healthy foods and learning to manage stress. These preventative steps help you to look good, feel good and reduce your risk of developing AMD and other health conditions.

In Queens, the Medex Diagnostic and Treatment Center is a multi-specialty practice where you can get expert medical care in multiple areas — including ophthalmology, primary carecardiologypain management and more. Contact your ophthalmologist for expert care of your eyes to prevent or address macular degeneration.

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