Like the rest of the body, the eyes are susceptible to the effects of aging. By determining the causes of vision impairment, Dr. Walter Choate can provide treatment that can preserve or restore your vision.
One eye condition that develops with age is macular degeneration. Macular degeneration is a disease that affects the tissues in the macula. This disease is progressive, and eventually causes vision loss in the central field of vision.
Here, Dr. Choate goes over common macular degeneration symptoms that can alert our Nashville, TN patients that it is time to have their eyes examined so that a proper diagnosis and treatment plan can be made.
In the early stages of macular degeneration, vision becomes blurry. Patients may notice that objects at near and far distances become blurry and more difficult to distinguish, especially those objects that are in the central field of sight.
Some patients also describe the central field of vision as being shadowed, almost as though a thin curtain has been placed over the eyes. As macular degeneration progresses, the area that appears blurry or shadowed is likely to grow larger.
As symptoms worsen, blind spots can develop, and a person may have difficulty reading, driving, or even recognizing faces.
Diminished contrast is another common symptom of macular degeneration. Patients with macular degeneration may have a harder time distinguishing between two shades of the same color.
Detailed features, such as texture, may also become increasingly difficult to make out. This lack of contrast can give everything a flat or one-dimensional appearance, and may make vision seem more monotone.
Diminished contrast can make it more difficult for a person to see things spatially. If objects appear dull and flat, it is harder to estimate how much distance or space exists between them.
Impaired depth perception can be dangerous, because it significantly increases the risk of injuries and accidents. Impaired depth perception can interfere with driving, and make it more difficult to walk or climb a set of stairs without tripping or falling.
When people with good vision go from standing in the bright sun to standing in a dimly lit room, it may take the eyes a few seconds to adjust. However, after that adjustment period, they should be able to see everything clearly.
This may not be the case for those with macular degeneration. When macular degeneration is present, changes in light levels can interfere with vision, even beyond that initial adjustment period. Strong sources of light can even cause the rest of the field of vision to completely black out.
Sudden difficulty adjusting to changing light levels is a warning that the vision should be checked for any abnormalities.
If you are experiencing any of the potential symptoms of macular degeneration, it is time to schedule a comprehensive eye exam. To learn more about the full range of eye care services offered by Dr. Walter Choate, including diagnosis and treatment of macular degeneration, contact us at your earliest convenience. Call (615) 851-7575 to speak with a member of our staff.