Macular degeneration is one of the most common causes of vision loss. The condition happens gradually and does not come with a lot of warning. Luckily, at Eye Care Specialists of Oklahoma, serving Midwest City and Edmond, OK, our eye doctor can diagnose macular degeneration and slow the progression of the condition. Here are some commonly asked questions about macular degeneration.
What Is Macular Degeneration?
Macular degeneration is the breakdown of the center of the retina, or the macula. This is the portion of the eye that sends the images we see to our brains. It is responsible for the ability to focus on the center of our field of vision, allowing us to see details such as faces or letters. As the macula deteriorates, this central vision becomes blurry.
What Causes Macular Degeneration?
Though it is common to happen as a part of the aging process, nobody knows the exact cause of the breakdown, such as why it happens to one person but not another. Though age is the primary common factor, other risk factors include:
- Smoking: Smokers are more likely to get macular degeneration
- Race: Caucasians are the highest risk group
- Genetics: Those with parents who have macular degeneration are more likely to get it themselves
What Are Symptoms Macular Degeneration?
Macular degeneration can be detected in an eye exam before symptoms begin. If left undetected, signs of the condition could include:
- Blurry vision
- Wavy vision
- Pale colors
- Difficulty recognizing faces
Can Macular Degeneration Cause Blindness?
Advanced stages of the disease can cause your vision to become so impaired that you can barely recognize objects right in front of you. Though it can lead to legal blindness, it does not typically cause total blindness. Most people maintain their peripheral vision.
How Does Our Eye Doctor Treat Macular Degeneration?
While there is no cure for the condition, its progression can be slowed down. Treatment depends on the level of progression of the disease. Nothing can be done to reverse the process, but our ophthalmology expert can help prevent further deterioration.
Can Macular Degeneration Be Prevented?
There are some steps you can take to lower your risk of developing macular degeneration. Maintain a diet with lots of fruits, vegetables, and omega-3 fatty acids. Be sure to exercise regularly and stay at a healthy weight. Also, get routine eye exams from our ophthalmology team to ensure that the condition can be caught early and slowed down.
Schedule an Appointment with Our Eye Doctor
If you are experiencing symptoms of macular degeneration, we can help. At Eye Care Specialists of Oklahoma, serving Edmond and Midwest City, OK, we can diagnose and help you manage macular degeneration. Call us today to schedule an appointment.