Macular Degeneration - PIH Health - Whittier, CA

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Healthy Living Online

Published on December 11, 2017

Macular Degeneration - man trying to read

Macular Degeneration

Macular Degeneration - man trying to readMacular Degeneration is a common eye condition that causes blurred vision and central vision loss (such as not being able to see what is right in front of you clearly). This may occur in one or both eyes. It is more common among people age 65 years and older however, symptoms may occur at an earlier age. It is possible for Macular Degeneration to begin in one eye and then progress to affect both eyes. There are two categories of Macular Degeneration, “Dry form” and “Wet Form”, although no treatment exists for dry form wet form can be treated to slow down progression and scarring of central vision. Despite treatment, vision may worsen over time affecting your ability to read, write, drive and recognize faces of family and friends.

Early detection will help. It’s important to have an annual eye care examination with an optometrist or ophthalmologist.

  • Annual Eye Examinations Are Important

First things first – always schedule an annual eye care examination. Be sure to get in to see your eye care specialist annually and schedule an additional appointment if you’re having problems with your eyes right away.

  • Three Stages of Age-Related Macular Degeneration (AMD)

There are three stages – Early AMD, Intermediate AMD and Late AMD. Early AMD is diagnosed through a regular eye care examination. Only an eye care specialist will be able to tell you if you’re in the early stages of Macular Degeneration. If you’re experiencing Intermediate AMD, you may be experiencing some vision loss already, in one or both eyes. And if you’re having trouble seeing things in front of you clearly or at all, chances are you’re experiencing Late AMD.

  • Causes, Risks and Treatment Options

Unfortunately, the cause Macular Degeneration is not clearly known. However, it is thought that heredity and environmental factors play an important role. The major risk factor is aging, but also includes genetics such as those with a family history; race (Caucasians are more likely to develop the disease than any other race) and smoking – it doubles your risk factor. Treatment options may also be considered “Prevention Options” and include healthy lifestyle changes like diet and exercise and protection from ultraviolet light. It’s important to exercise three to five days a week and eat a healthy diet. Good sunglasses with 100% Ultraviolet Protection (UV100) are also very important to help protect your eyes. Any PIH Health Eye Care Center can help find the right pair of sunglasses for you and your loved ones.

PIH Health Physicians Ophthalmologist Deep R. Dudeja MD tells us that “Macular degeneration affects more people each year than many other diseases that affect the eyes, making it the leading cause of vision loss. And because of this, it’s important for everyone to have an annual eye exam.” If you or a loved one are experiencing any signs or symptoms of macular degeneration or are overdue for an eye exam, visit PIHHealth.org/EyeCare or call 562.967.2820 to schedule an appointment at any convenient PIH Health location in La Habra, La Mirada, Santa Fe Springs or Whittier.

The information in Healthy Living Online is for educational purposes only.  It is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice.  The reader should always consult his or her healthcare provider to determine the appropriateness of the information for their own situation, or if they have any questions regarding a medical condition or treatment plan.

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