Age-related macular degeneration is a progressive eye disease in the retina that leads to vision loss in the center of the field of vision.
After diagnosis, there are steps you can take to slow the progression of macular degeneration.
Serving the Nashville, TN, area, Dr. Walter Choate uses advanced techniques to diagnose macular degeneration so you can slow its progress.
What Is Macular Degeneration?
Macular degeneration, commonly referred to as age-related macular degeneration (AMD), is an eye disease in the retina that develops over time. The macula is located in the center of the retina and is responsible for detecting light and sending those signals to the brain. Macular degeneration involves the thinning of the macula, leading to vision loss.
The symptoms of macular degeneration include:
- Vision loss or a blind spot within the central vision
- Blurred or hazy center field of vision
- Difficulty adjusting to low light levels
- Colors appear faded or washed out
The Two Types of Age-Related Macular Degeneration
Dry Macular Degeneration
If you have dry AMD, small yellow deposits called drusen have formed within the thinning macula. This impedes the function of the macula and causes it to dry out, resulting in distorted and dimmed vision with a blind spot in the center field of view. When left untreated, it can eventually lead to central vision loss or the development of wet AMD, the more serious form of AMD.
The disease may affect both eyes or only one eye. Dry AMD is the more common of the two types of macular degeneration.
Wet Macular Degeneration
Wet AMD involves the leaking of blood and fluid from the growth of abnormal blood vessels. These blood vessels grow under the macula and leak into the retina, which causes visual disturbances. Visual problems caused by wet AMD include straight lines appearing bent, as well as blind spots, specifically within the central field of vision.
Over time, wet AMD can lead to the permanent loss of central vision. Fortunately, wet macular degeneration is highly treatable.
Dry AMD symptoms develop gradually and painlessly, making it more difficult to detect than wet AMD, which can occur suddenly.
Diagnosing Macular Degeneration
Macular degeneration can lead to permanent damage to your eyesight, so obtaining the proper diagnosis is important. After completing an eye exam, Choate Eye Associates, serving Nashville, Goodlettsville, and Hendersonville, TN, can perform Macula Risk™ genetic testing. This test determines which patients carry the gene for the more severe types of age-related macular degeneration, with 100% accuracy.
Though age-related macular degeneration is incurable, early detection can slow down the rate of vision loss. Our in-office test allows Dr. Choate to analyze how your vision may deteriorate over time and create a treatment plan with or without surgery to effectively control the progression of the disease.
Worried About Your Eye Health? Request a Consultation With Dr. Choate
If you have experienced symptoms of macular degeneration, you should get a comprehensive eye exam and have the problem diagnosed as soon as possible. While macular degeneration does not have a cure, Dr. Choate can help lessen its impact on your vision with early treatment.
An optometrist board-certified by the state, Dr. Choate can manage eye diseases and use advanced technology like Macula Risk testing to diagnose macular degeneration.
Don't hesitate when it comes to your eye health. You can learn more by submitting a question to our staff or requesting a consultation with Dr. Choate.
"Very professional and welcoming" 5-Star Reviews for Our Nashville Practice
The staff was friendly and very knowledgeable about everything I had questions about. Dr. Choate showed true care about my eye health and I could tell he wanted to give me the best quality products to assist with my vision. Very professional and welcoming environment. I will be coming back for my next routine exam.View on Google
The two ladies that performed the initial part of my exam were very thorough & friendly. Dr. Choate was also very thorough & it was clear that he is truly interested in the services they provide as well as providing information on how we can maintain healthy vision.View on Google
Macular Degeneration Treatment
Schedule Regular Checkups
Early detection can help slow the progression of this eye disease. Once diagnosed with macular degeneration, patients should see their doctor every three months to a year to keep abreast of the condition’s progress.
Make Lifestyle Changes
A healthy diet, nutraceuticals, supplements, exercise, and wearing sunglasses to protect your eyes from harmful light can all help slow the progression of AMD.
Vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) is a natural protein in your body that encourages the growth of new blood vessels. Anti-VEGF can slow down the effects of wet AMD by reducing the number of abnormal blood vessels in your eye.
Adjusting to Life With AMD
While age-related macular degeneration does not have a cure, there are still ways to enjoy many of your favorite activities. Patients with central vision loss can benefit from low vision tools, which can range from simple magnifiers to programmable electronic devices. You can also see a vision rehabilitation specialist to help you make the most out of your peripheral vision.
Dr. Choate can discuss these options in further detail during a consultation. Depending on the severity of your case, we may recommend a skilled specialist in the area.
"The BEST Eye Care in the Area!"
Everyone at Dr. Choate's office is so kind and not only do they treat us like family, over the years, they have become our extended family handling all our eye care needs. Including weekend eye emergencies with our children. Highly recommend and respected to the fullest.View on Google
The BEST eye care in the area! I have been a patient at Choate Eye Associates since 1998. They are very caring, professional, great with time management, and extremely personable! They also do not have a lot of staff turnover, so you all become like family!!!View On Google